A cheese maker has been fined £8,000 for safety failings after an employee
suffered injuries in a fall at work.
The unnamed injured worker, a 53-year-old from Crewe, sustained cuts to his left leg and multiple fractures to his ankle when he plunged from a forklift truck during an unsafe loading operation.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Joseph Heler Ltd on Thursday, January 23 following the workplace accident at its factory in Hatherton, near Nantwich, Cheshire, on July 4, 2012.
The worker had been loading cheese onto a wagon so it could be taken to a customer, Chester Magistrates’ Court was told.
The employee was being lifted up to the wagon, with a foot on each prong on the forklift, when the forks struck the back of the vehicle and jolted, causing him to fall about a metre to the ground.
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Accident ‘could have risked life’
An HSE investigation into the work accident found that staff were regularly lifted on forklift prongs, despite it being illegal.
It was also discovered that no risk assessment had been undertaken for the work and no other way of accessing the wagons was available.
Joseph Heler Ltd has made changes for safer working since the incident.
The company was also ordered to pay £709.15 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc 1974.
HSE inspector Jane Carroll said after the case that the employee’s injuries could easily have been life-threatening had he struck his head when he fell.
For free, no-obligation advice about making a claim, contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.
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