An employee was lucky to escape with just a broken leg after a vehicle suspension arm fell on him, a court has heard.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said his injuries could have been far worse. It concluded the incident could have been prevented if his employer, Paintshop Northern Limited, had followed basic safety procedures.
The Bradford-based company pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £991.
Bradford Magistrates’ Court was told how the worker, who does not wish to be named, was assisting a work colleague who was using a forklift truck to transport two 370kg suspension arms that had just been spray painted.
Both of the arms were hanging down from the forks of the truck near the tips, which had been raised to a height of two metres to allow the spray painting to be done, but neither had been secured.
While helping the truck operator to get the arms off the forks, one of them fell off knocking the worker over and fracturing his leg.
HSE described the entire operation as unconventional and unsafe from start to finish.
It said the load carried needed to be secured to the truck, either using chains or slings, while proper supervision should have been in place to ensure that the forks were lowered to the ground in a safe way.
Working with forklifts
Forklift truck accidents are unfortunately fairly common in the workplace. If not used with care and attention, the trucks can pose a danger to the driver and others in the vicinity.
Loads can fall off, as in this case, causing injury to people nearby, while the trucks have been known to run over a bystander’s foot or crush them against a wall or pallets. Trucks have also collided with other trucks.
Drivers who operate them should therefore be properly trained.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: July 24, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown