Magistrates have fined a forklift truck firm after an employee fractured vertebra in his back when a truck fell off a lorry as he was unloading it.
Terence Jones, 58, was working at Linde Creighton Ltd’s factory in Dartmouth Road, West Bromwich on 21 October 2013 when he was injured, Black Country Magistrates’ Court heard.
Truck fell over a metre
The ramp down which Mr Jones was driving the forklift truck came away from the trailer and the vehicle fell 1.2 metres straight down and landed on its wheels.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm after an investigation discovered the ramp was only fixed to the trailer with one of the two chains it came with – as the lorry was parked close to bushes making access to one side of the ramp to attach the chain difficult.
No risk assessment
The firm had not carried out a risk assessment on the task of unloading forklift trucks from lorry trailers, nor had it made sure that its workers were fixing the ramp in a safe manner, the HSE told the court.
Linde Creighton Ltd, based at Kingsclere Road in Basingstoke, admitted a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Magistrates fined it £8,000 while it must also pay £1,144 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Caroline Lane said Mr Jones had been unloading trucks from lorries using the ramp since 2008. The manufacturer’s instructions for its use were available to employees and the manual made it clear that falls were possible if the ramp was not restrained properly.
Work accident ‘preventable’
This was a work accident that could easily have been prevented and Linde Creighton Ltd failed to meet its required safety standards, she added.
If you have been injured at work and you think you might be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation, speak to Accident Advice Helpline for expert guidance.