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Industrial waste firm fined following forklift accident

16th November 2011

The Trafford based firm has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the accident which took place on 14 January 2010.

The 60-year-old employee was reversed into by a 35-tonne forklift truck and consequently suffered severe personal injuries, including multiple broken bones and damage to internal organs.

The accident at work caused the man to have to remain in hospital for several months and he has suffered some permanent injuries.

An investigation led by the HSE discovered that the company had not installed sufficient systems to prevent personal injuries being sustained by staff from reversing vehicles.

Systems to ensure workers’ safety could have included marked walkways, a one-way system or ensuring that reversing vehicles were guided by another member of staff on the ground.

The firm admitted to a breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 by neglecting to ensure pedestrians and vehicles could work safely.

After the hearing, an HSE inspector said, “This was an entirely preventable incident which could have cost one of [the company’s] employees his life.

“There were several systems the company could have introduced to make sure workers were not put at risk by moving vehicles. Most of these would have been simple and inexpensive.

“If another worker had stood on the ground to guide the forklift truck as it reversed then this incident could have been avoided.”

The company was fined £20,000 and was also ordered to pay £9,410 in prosecution costs at Trafford Magistrates’ Court following the industrial injury accident.

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