Company fined after worker was injured by a fork lift truck

A North West manufacturing company has been fined after an employee was struck by a fork lift truck.

Manchester & Salford Magistrates’ Court heard that on 13 April 2015 that an employee of West Coast Corrugated Ltd was struck by a reversing clamp truck which resulted in him fracturing his pelvis at the company’s site in Deacon Park, Liverpool.

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 investigation also found the company failed to implement a traffic management plan to ensure workers and vehicles were adequately segregated. There was also a failure to install physical barriers to clearly segregate pedestrians and vehicles.

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 has been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £4,337.84 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector HSE 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.”

Phoenix comments:

Every year, about 50 people are killed and more than 5000 people are injured in accidents involving workplace transport. The most common causes are people falling from or being struck by a vehicle, objects falling from a vehicle, or vehicles overturning. Segregating pedestrians from vehicles, preferably by making routes entirely separate, is the most effective way of protecting individuals. Consider making pedestrian traffic routes correspond to the paths people would naturally follow when walking across a site (often known as ‘desire lines’). Good examples of complete segregation include footbridges or subways, particularly where traffic volumes are very heavy. Keep pedestrians away from areas where people are working in or with vehicles unless they need to be there. Make sure any visiting pedestrians report to the site office and tell them about site safety policies and procedures before they are allowed into areas where vehicles operate. Where appropriate, pedestrians may need to wear high-visibility clothing. Effective ways to keep vehicles away from pedestrian areas, and vice versa, include:

  • Clear markings and signs to set vehicle and pedestrian routes apart
  • Raised kerbs to mark vehicle and pedestrian areas
  • Suitable protective barriers or guard rails, particularly:
  1. At the entrances and exits to buildings; At the corners of buildings;
  2. To prevent pedestrians from walking straight onto roads, especially from places where they may not be clearly visible to drivers.

A HSE guide to workplace transport safety HSG136 which can be found on http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg136.pdf