A sweet manufacturer has been fined £120,000 after the fork on a forklift truck impaled a worker’s foot.
Kevin Lowe, 48, suffered life-changing injuries in the incident at Tangerine Confectionery Ltd in Blackpool on 19 September 2012.
The company, of Vicarage Lane, was also ordered to pay £9,538 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty at Preston Crown Court to a breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
Foot injury claim
Mr Lowe was driving a ride-on pallet truck near the entrance of the plant due to a lack of space inside, when another worker drove through the plastic strip curtains that hung down over the entrance and hit his vehicle.
The area had also been overcrowded with pallets from two other warehouses while maintenance work was being carried out.
Surgeons at Blackpool Victoria Hospital initially thought they would have to amputate due to the severity of the foot injury, although it was eventually saved using large screws to piece it back together.
The fork broke multiple bones in his foot after it entered the instep and exited the bridge. He is now only able to walk short distances with the use of a stick, meaning he is therefore unable to return to work or drive.
A foot injury can be extremely debilitating. Victims should therefore seek compensation for recovery costs and any time off work.
Accident Advice Helpline can lend a hand when it comes to making personal injury claims.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the incident was one of three collisions in the same location at the factory within a three-month period, another of which involved Mr Lowe.
All of them were caused by restricted vision through the plastic curtains, which obscured the view of workers going into the warehouse.
Tangerine Confectionery Ltd has since removed the curtains and changed its systems so vehicles and pedestrians can move safely around the site.
Source: Health And Safety At Work