Trucking company fined after ‘hero’ mechanic dies

A trucking company has been fined £30,000 after a mechanic died while repairing a forklift truck.

A mechanic was working with a new employee as they attempted to fix a steering fault on a forklift truck at the firm’s site.  While doing this, one of them was driving the forklift truck to move the vehicle forwards. However, the forklift truck reversed and trapped the other employee against a trailer. The employee was taken to hospital with severe head injuries following the incident and was placed in an induced coma.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the forklift truck was over 30-years-old and had not been maintained nor subjected to a Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). No principles of working with vehicles at the site had been put in place such as designating a safe repair area or separating pedestrians and vehicles. Had the employer properly maintained the forklift truck and provided the driver with appropriate training this incident could have been prevented.

The employer pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,712.80.

It was concluded that the incident could easily have been avoided. Employers should ensure they carry out an assessment of the risks created by forklifts and ensure safe systems of work for their safe operation and maintenance are followed.

Contact 121 HR Solutions to arrange an audit of your Health and Safety practices – call 0800 995 121.

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