Friday, 19 December 2014

Recycling company fined over £218,000 after forklift truck overturned, killing driver

Recresco Ltd, a recycling company, was fined £218,693 (inc. costs) after a worker was killed when the forklift truck he was driving overturned.
The circumstances were:
  • Ian Aliski had been hired on a temporary four-day contract and was just a few hours into his first day when the incident happened on 26 April 2010.
  • Forklift truck drivers regularly had to work in an area that was often covered in waste materials. 
  • This prevented them from turning the vehicles safely.
  • The forklift trucks in use at the plant were not suitable for operation on uneven surfaces or over loose material such as that found on the site.
  • Alternative vehicles, such as four-wheel-drive, all terrain shovel loaders, could have been used and were already in use elsewhere on the site.
  • There was no company policy in place to ensure seatbelts were worn.
  • Mr Aliski was not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Mr Aliski was moving waste material from the recycling process.
  • The forklift truck became unstable on the uneven surface and overturned, fataly crushing Mr Aliski.
  • Since the incident, the company now uses alternative vehicles to move all the waste material on the site and it is now company policy for seatbelts to be worn at all times in all vehicles.

The HSE Inspector said:
“Ian was just a few hours into his first day at work for Recresco Ltd when this tragic incident occurred. Our investigation revealed a series of failures at the plant, with forklift trucks being used in an area that was completely unsuitable because of the uneven surface created by waste material scattered around the floor. There was also no policy in place for the use of seatbelts. Sadly it was entirely foreseeable that someone was at risk of being badly injured or killed. If the company had taken some simple measures to reduce the risks, such as using the all-terrain vehicles in use elsewhere on the site, then Ian’s tragic death could have been avoided.”

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