Sunday, 17 August 2014

Primopost fined nearly £33,000 after employee was hit by a forklift truck

Primopost Ltd., a Buxton food packaging company, was fined £32,979 (inc. costs) after an employee suffered severe injuries to his leg when he was struck by a forklift truck.
The circumstances were:
  • Primopost Ltd did not have a safe system of work for forklift truck operations.
  • There was no separate walkway to keep pedestrians away from vehicles, nor was there another way of moving goods around the factory.
  • On 20 November 2012, Michael Booth had just given some cleaning materials to a colleague, who was working on a machine.
  • As he stepped backwards to turn around, he was hit by a forklift truck carrying a large reel of printed film. 
  • He broke his right leg in three places and was in hospital for six days, where he had metal bars and pins inserted.

Following the incident, the firm began using pallet trucks which are much safer than forklifts as they are operated by someone walking behind them and run at a slower speed.
The HSE Inspector said:
“Michael suffered injuries which have had a significant impact on his life because the factory where he was working wasn’t safe. Forklift trucks are responsible for around a quarter of all injuries involving workplace transport and so it’s vital companies have systems in place to keep them away from pedestrians. This can be as simple as painting a white line on the floor. Alternatively, they should find other ways of moving goods around factory floors. If pallet trucks had been in use at the time of the incident – as they are now – then Michael’s injuries could have been avoided.”

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