Workplace fatalities could be avoided if companies made certain that health and safety guidelines are properly enforced, a bereaved family has said.
Linda Foster made the claim after an inquest was held into the death of her forklift truck driver husband John, who died in January 2009 after an accident at his work.
Crushed in carpet cutting machine
Mr Foster, 47, was crushed in a carpet cutting machine while working at Mercado Carpets in Cross Green, Leeds. He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary and, despite undergoing five surgical procedures, died almost a week after the incident.
The inquest heard that Mr Foster had been cleaning the automated machine when it was switched on, with a sensor being activated which caused a large cradle to crush him.
Despite previous complaints and incidents, Mercado had failed to act to ensure that workers received adequate training or that a culture of good health and safety practice existed, Assistant Coroner for West Yorkshire Melanie Williamson, assisted by the jury, concluded.
Family ‘completely devastated’
Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Foster said that her family had been left “completely devastated” by her husband’s death.
If the proper safety guidelines had been followed, Mrs Foster said she felt John would still be alive today.
The widow added that the family were preparing to move on from the tragedy, but they first of all wanted to make sure that such incidents do not happen again.
Workplace accident lawyer Ian Bailey claimed that all employees had a right to work in a safe environment which ended with them returning home at the end of the day.
In order to achieve this and avoid future deaths, Mr Bailey claimed that employers were required to live up to their legal obligations when it comes to health and safety.
Official figures show that about one in three workplace accidents involves a forklift truck. If you’ve been involved in a forklift truck accident, call our expert advisers at Accident Advice Helpline.
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