Isleworth Crown Court has handed down a £65,000 fine to B&Q after one of its workers was crushed by a forklift at one of its stores in west London. Hillingdon Council brought the prosecution case before the court after the incident occurred at the Yeading-based store in 2013.
The retailer had entered a guilty plea when faced with three breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and was handed the fine along with a further £18,500 in court costs). All the breaches related to neglecting to find a safe way of working when parking the pedestrian forklift. The design of the truck means it is pushed rather than being driven. When the accident occurred the female member of staff was parking it and in doing so had to pull it back towards the wall in the warehouse. In doing so she became trapped between the forklift itself and the wall, suffering crush injuries as a result.
The prosecutor for the case stated that the company had not considered the potential dangers of parking the forklift in this way. It had not heeded warnings about what could potentially happen.
How dangerous can forklifts be?
This type of forklift is operated by hand rather than being one that is driven, which is perhaps the more common one we are used to seeing. However, in any case it is clear that forklifts do have the potential to be dangerous if they are not operated correctly, or if the appropriate safety measures are not in place in situations such as the one above. Thankfully incidents like this are rare and are very unlikely to happen, since the majority of companies do adhere to all health and safety rules provided.
Do you want no-obligation advice following a similar incident?
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Date Published: February 22, 2015
Author: David Brown