Sunday, 8 November 2015

Lorry driver hit by pallet falling from a forklift truck

Logistics company CWT Commodities (UK) Limited, of Tilbury Docks was fined £26,639 (inc. costs)  after a lorry driver was injured when he was hit by a pallet that fell from a fork lift truck. 
The circumstances were:
  • Although a risk assessment for unloading vehicles using forklift trucks had been undertaken, it did not specifically detail a risk to visiting drivers. 
  • It did indicate that the driver should return to his cab, or to stand a ‘safe distance’ away from the operation.
  • However, it was common for visiting lorry drivers to stand next to their cabs or in the vicinity of the forklift truck, so the outcome action of the risk assessment was not robustly or consistently implemented.
  • On 19 December 2014 Darren Andrews, a 49-year-old employee of a transport services firm was making a delivery to CWT in a lorry. 
  • The delivery consisted of a shrink-wrapped pallet of a number of boxes containing castor wheels sitting on top of a wooden case
  • CWT forklift driver was offloading the delivery from the lorry’s trailer. 
  • Having reversed clear of the trailer, the pallet fell to the side of the forklift truck, striking the Mr Andrews as he was standing to the side of the cab watching the operation. 
  • Mr Andrews suffered significant, life threatening injuries as a result of the impact and was airlifted to Royal London Hospital where he stayed for three weeks. 
  • He was transferred again to a Bristol hospital for a further week. The incident has had profound and long-term effects on him and he will be unable to return to work as a HGV driver. 

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