£35,000 fine for forklift health & safety breach
A serious health & safety breach at a Welwyn Garden City company has led to bosses being handed a £35,000 fine following an accident in which an employee broke both his legs.
In February 2008, the employee was hit by a fork lift truck, leaving both his legs broken and he also suffered tissue damage in his legs. While investigating the case, it was discovered that the company had inadequate risk control measures in place.
The investigation, led by the local council’s Environmental Health team, also found that the firm allowed the truck to be driven with a load that obscured the driver’s view.
During a hearing at St Albans Magistrates’ Court, the company was fined £35,000 – the maximum fine available, and ordered to pay £15,750 costs to the borough council for the accident, which could have been prevented.
The court heard that the employee, a full-time cleaner, was walking through the warehouse to collect fresh supplies for his storage cupboard when he was mowed down by the fork lift truck.
Months of painful skin graft treatment were required after suffering extensive tissue damage on his legs, both of which were broken in the accident. He has not been able to return to work since and is said to still be in a considerable amount of pain.
The inquiry uncovered a number of health & safety offences, including the lack of risk assessment, the company’s failure to separate moving vehicles from pedestrians and not providing its employees a safe environment to work in.