Manchester & Salford Magistrates’ Court heard how, on April 13 2015, the employee of cardboard box manufacturer West Coast Corrugated Ltd was struck by a reversing forklift truck at the company’s site in Deacon Park, Liverpool. The accident fractured the employee’s pelvis.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to consider the risk created by vehicles and pedestrians operating in the same area.
The HSE also found the company failed to implement a traffic management plan to ensure workers and vehicles were adequately segregated, such as a physical barrier.
West Coast Corrugated Ltd of Hannover Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £4,337.84 in costs.
Most common forklift truck accidents
- Being struck by a moving truck
- Struck by a load falling from the truck
- Trucks overturning
- Falling from a height
- Getting trapped between the mast and overhead guard
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Forklift trucks are responsible for a quarter of all workplace transport accidents, according to the HSE.
Most common accidents
The most common accidents involving forklift trucks included: being struck by a moving truck, struck by a load falling from the truck, trucks overturning, falling from a height and getting trapped between the mast and overhead guard.
A number of companies in the food and drink industry have been fined for health and safety offences involving a forklift truck in the past year.
In May, Liverpool Magistrates heard how a worker at Encirc Ltd – a producer of glass bottles for the drinks industry – had collided with a forklift truck, breaking his arm.
Meanwhile, in September, an engineering company that manufacturers industrial ovens was ordered to pay more than £30,000 for safety failings involving a forklift truck.