Magistrates have fined a meat wholesaler £18,000 after the firm forged a good examination report on a faulty forklift truck.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a routine inspection at MIB United Meat Ltd in Stockingswater Lane, Enfield, North London on 8 March 2013, when the firm was asked to provide details to prove a forklift truck had been examined for safety.
Document was a fraud
The court heard the company couldn’t provide the document there and then, but later emailed one to the HSE, which turned out to be fraudulent.
The HSE prosecuted the firm on Wednesday after a further investigation discovered that the 2.5-tonne forklift had never been examined since it was bought in 2011.
Safety rules stipulate that lifting equipment such as counterbalance forklift trucks must be regularly checked they are in a safe condition, the court was told.
Workers put in danger
Magistrates heard more than 40 faults were discovered on the vehicle when it was checked a month after the original inspection and some of them put workers driving it in danger. A Prohibition Notice was issued ordering the company to stop using the vehicle until it was proven to be safe.
MIB United Meat Ltd admitted breaches of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As well as the fine it was also ordered to pay £2,314 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Instead of following the law by maintaining and having the forklift truck checked regularly to ensure the safety of the workers who used it, MIB United Meat Ltd let its condition worsen and failed to correct a range of faults, HSE inspector Tahir Mortuza said after the case.
It then committed an even more serious offence by forging the vehicle’s records, suggesting it was happy to keep placing its staff at risk, he said.
If you have been hurt in a work accident, speak to the solicitors at Accident Advice Helpline to see if you could make a personal injury claim for compensation.
Source: Food Manufacture
Date Published: September 6, 2014
Author: David Brown