NEWS & RESOURCES

Health & Safety: company fined after a worker was injured by a forklift truck

A facility services company operating at Winchester prison has been fined after a worker suffered a broken leg when he was struck and injured by a forklift truck.

View Obscured by the Load

Aldershot Magistrates’ Court heard that, the Gov Facility Services Limited employee was injured whilst carrying out inspections of drain covers adjacent to a workshop. He was struck by a Forklift truck breaking the bone in his right leg. The driver was unloading boxes for a delivery to the canteen, his view was obscured by the load on the forks, preventing him from seeing the other employee.

Risk Control Measures Not Implemented

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the company had failed to carry out the appropriate risk assessment to identify and implement risk control measures to ensure vehicles and pedestrians were not working at the same time in the same place.

Fined for Easily Preventable Injury

Gov Facility Services Limited, based in London, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,636.38.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicola Pinckney said: “This injury was easily preventable. Planning for transport safety and implementing safe working practices should avoid such incidents. Workplace transport is a significant hazard, and the risks must be recognised and managed. There are simple and effective measures employers can take to help keep everyone safe. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required safety standards.”

Health & Safety Learning Points

This case is a warning to all companies who use forklift trucks and any other mechanical equipment.

  • Consider the follow questions:
    – Are staff trained to use it?
    – Do staff receive refresher training?
    – Are staff competent to undertake the job they are being asked to do?
    – Have you completed a risk assessment?
    – Is the risk assessment regularly serviced and maintained?
    – Have you got a safe working procedure?
  • This case also highlights how the HSE will prosecute and act if there is an accident.
  • All defects or maintenance issues should be reported to the Company Owner or Site Safety Manager and followed up.
  • Employers and Owners should consider looking at HSE guidance also https://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/lift-trucks/index.htm.
Essential Training

For information on our Health and Safety training courses visit www.hrsolutions-uk.com/training-courses.

Health & Safety Support

HR Solutions’ Health, Safety and Environment division, called HSE Solutions, provides you with access to a Competent Person to help de-risk your working environment from accidents. To find out more about how our HSE Solutions service can help your business, visit www.hrsolutions-uk.com/health-and-safety or call us on 0844 324 5840.

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