Forklift Truck Safety

Sep 18, 2017

A PVC product manufacturer has been fined following a forklift truck overturning during operation, killing the 19-year-old driver.

The forklift truck was being driven down a sloping road when it tipped over causing fatal head and neck injuries being sustained by the driver.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the driver had not been adequately trained to operate the forklift truck as well as not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. The investigation also found that the Company had failed to communicate the onsite speed limit to the workers and had not installed any measurers to control the speed of vehicles on the site. Additionally, adequate lighting and edge protection was not present onsite to stop the forklift truck overturning.

Following the hearing, it was stated that the Company exposed workers to serious safety risks due to the lack of safe driver measurers such as wearing a seatbelt, the management of forklift truck driving operations and its inadequate external yard area safety measures.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 3 of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations. The Company was fined £450,000 in addition to £71,778 of legal costs.

In addition to this case, a worker died at a tyre retread Company when the forklift truck he was operating overturned after the vehicle ran over a loose tyre in the road. The driver was crushed between the vehicle and the ground as he was not wearing his seatbelt. The HSE found there was a lack of seatbelt policy along with the tyres being stored insecurely which allowed them to roll onto the road causing the accident. The Company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 as well as being ordered to pay £25,000 in costs.

The point to emphasise from both cases is that drivers should always wear a seatbelt when it is fitted, and employers should actively enforce this rule throughout the organisation.

If you would like any further information on how to manage the safety of forklift operations within your Company, please contact the Amarisk team by emailing or phoning 01392 247436.

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Amarisk Ltd,
3rd Floor,
11-15 Dix’s Field,

Phone: 01392 247436

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Amarisk Ltd, 3rd Floor, 11-15 Dix’s Field, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1QA