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Company fined after worker crushed by Forklift Truck

A scaffolding company has been sentenced today for safety breaches after a worker was crushed by a forklift truck.

Leeds Magistrates Court heard how in October 2016, an employee of Whiterose Scaffolding (Leeds) Ltd was using a forklift truck in the yard when the vehicle overturned, trapping him underneath it for some time. The employee sustained serious life changing internal injuries. He now lives with constant chronic pain and has severe mobility issues.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to provide training to their employees on the safe operations of forklift trucks, which would have included the importance of wearing seat belts. The company also failed to provide adequate supervision and monitoring of the forklift truck operators to ensure they were only operated by trained drivers and that safe driving techniques were followed.

Whiterose Scaffolding (Leeds) Ltd of Holbeck Lane, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £54,270 and ordered to pay £8000 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Jones commented: “The employee’s injuries were life changing and could have been fatal.  The impact has been devastating on him and his family.  Other employees were put at risk as a result of the company allowing fork lift trucks to be used without the appropriate training and monitoring of drivers.

 “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working”.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. Specifically, HSE publication: L117 “Rider-operated lift trucks, operator training and safe use, Approved Code of Practice and guidance” http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/l117.pdf HSE leaflet INCG457 “Use lift trucks safely, Advice for operators” http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg457.pdf
  4. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
Updated: 2018-11-13