Lerwick Sheriff Court heard how Karen Allen, an employee of QA Fish Ltd, suffered significant leg injuries as a pedestrian during a vehicular collision on 31 January 2018 at the firms Scalloway, Shetland site.
A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Police Scotland found that site-specific workplace transport risk assessment had not been carried out.
Insufficient control measures
The use of the forklift truck was described as critical for the function of the business and the company failed to provide suitable and sufficient control measures to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles could circulate in a safe manner in the exterior of the premises – particularly with regards to the forklift truck.
It was also found that the company had failed to implement effective arrangements for the management of health and safety and had failed to act on the advice of a helth and safety consultant several years prior to the incident.
QA Fish Ltd of Blacksness Pier, Shetland pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was been fined £80,000, to be paid within 12 months.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Connor Gibson said: “The tragic outcome of this incident clearly highlights why dutyholders must ensure that vehicle and pedestrian movements at their work site are properly assessed and adequately controlled.
“This fatal incident could and should have been prevented via suitable and sufficient control measures segregating pedestrians from vehicle movements.”
Being struck by a moving vehicle is the second highest cause of fatal accidents for workers, according to the HSE – 25 of all fatal accidents in the 2020/21 reporting period.
Last year, Meat processor Kepak Group Ltd – formerly 2 Sisters Red Meat Ltd – was fined £600,000 after a worker was seriously injured in an accident involving a forklift truck.