Northampton Magistrates Court heard how an employee of Mademoiselle Desserts Corby Ltd received injuries while moving a large mixer across the yard in Corby on 11 April 2018, which was not secured to the pallet truck used to transport it.
Another worker was pulling the pallet truck while the worker who subsequently sustained the injuries was walking alongside and supporting the load. As the pair turned the truck and approached a container in the yard, both the pallet and mixer tipped onto the injured party, resulting in five broken bones in his foot.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was no risk assessment for this operation. The mixer was on an unsecured damaged plastic pallet, which was resting on the forks of the pallet truck – the forks were not inserted into the pockets of the pallet.
Mademoiselle Desserts Corby Ltd, of Earlstrees Industrial Estate, Corby, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The manufacture was fined £36,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,371.80, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.
Commenting after the hearing, HSE inspector Michelle Morrison said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided, had the operation been properly risk assessed and simple control measures and safe working practices put in place.”
Meanwhile, warehouse managers have been urged to seek greater clarity over thorough examinations for forklift trucks, after HSE figures revealed they were involved in 1,300 serious accidents each year – 50% more than heavy goods vehicles.
This year alone saw two food firms fined for accidents involving forklift trucks: a £50,000 fine for potato processor Braegate Produce and an £850,000 fine for poultry processor Moy Park.