A businessman deliberately forged a safety document claiming a forklift truck was in a good state of repair, a court was told.
Stuart Jeavons, 57, was fined £2,400 and ordered to pay costs of £989 after he pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates heard that Mr Jeavons, who supplies workplace vehicles and lifting equipment, had made a false entry on a Report of Thorough Examination for the forklift.
The report is a statutory document required by law to show that lifting equipment is in a good working order and safe to use.
The court was told that a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation had found that Mr Jeavons, of Bridge Road in Broseley, Shropshire, had put the name of a forklift truck supplier at the top of the report while forging a genuine examiner’s signature at the bottom of it.
‘Serious danger to health and safety’
Following the case HSE inspector Lyn Mizen said such inspections are crucial to ensure the safety of lifting equipment in the workplace.
She said the inspections are supported by the reports, which users of equipment such as forklift trucks should be able to rely on, to show they have been examined by a competent inspector and been deemed safe to use.
The inspector added: “It is therefore critical that all aspects of inspection, examination, and verification of the safety-critical parts of forklift trucks are carried out diligently, properly and with the highest level of integrity.
“HSE will not hesitate to hold people to account where it finds forged reports as it seriously endangers the health and safety of people at work.”
Many accidents that occur at work can be prevented simply by following the Health and Safety at Work Act.