The death of a 42-year-old forklift truck driver has resulted in fines for his employing company totaling £65,000.

The incident, which took place on 10 April 2007, was extensively investigated by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) professionals. It was determined that Morgans Plant Hire Ltd. — the company the victim was working for — had made numerous errors regarding the safety and efficiency of the forklift truck.

According to testimony heard at Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court, the victim suffered fatal injuries after his forklift overturned while attempting to transport and load digger buckets onto flatbed lorries.

The ultimate cause of the accident was attributed to poor modification of the forklift truck’s brakes. One of the victim’s colleagues — a mechanic for the company — was responsible for making proper adjustments to the brakes but had done so incorrectly.

“When [the victim] went to work, his family expected him to return home safely,” said Peter Burns, a HSE Inspector involved in the prosecution hearing. “The failings of his employers mean he’ll never go home again.”

Morgans Plant Hire Ltd. was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000 for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Additionally, the mechanic who made incorrect modifications to the forklift’s brakes was penalised a total of £4,000 in fines and prosecution costs for breaching section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

“This prosecution serves to show just how important it is for companies to take their health and safety obligations seriously,” Burns later added. “HSE will not hesitate to prosecute any firm that fails to do so.”

As strong advocates of safety in the workplace, we couldn’t agree more with Peter Burns. That is why we offer two staple courses in forklift truck operations — one for instructing and one for operating.

Our Forklift Training Course is designed to train individuals in a wide variety of safety and skill requirements for operating lift trucks. Relevant to this incident is the course’s emphasis on daily safety checks & maintenance and practical examinations. Had the mechanic in this case properly applied such a skill set, the death of the victim could have been prevented.

Article Source: SHD Logistics