Timber company fined after worker is run-over

A Nottingham timber company has been fined after an employee was run over by a forklift truck.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that James Abrahams was walking alongside the forklift to steady a pallet of fencing being transported at Jon Walker Timber Product Ltd’s yard at Mansfield Lane, Calverton, when the incident happened on 30 July 2012.

He suffered leg fractures, broken and dislocated toes and deep grazing, was hospitalised for 12 days and unable to work for some months.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found a number of failings at the company.

There was no safe system of work for transporting pallets through the yard. A risk assessment was not carried out and employees had not been provided with adequate training, information or instruction. Pedestrians and vehicles should not have been working in such close proximity.

The forklift driver’s licence had expired four months prior to the incident and forklifts were operated by other unlicensed drivers.

The court heard that the firm had been issued with an Improvement Notice in 2001 for a lack of risk assessments, and written advice had previously been given by HSE on workplace transport issues, including forklift driver training.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £9,850 costs.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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