A cardboard manufacturer has been sentenced after a visiting lorry driver suffered life changing injuries when he was struck by a forklift truck (FLT).
Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard that on 27 August 2019, the driver was assisting in the loading of pallets of cardboard tubes onto his vehicle at a delivery yard in Stanley, County Durham. In the course of loading the second pallet, the FLT being used to lift the pallets reversed and struck the driver, causing crush injuries to his right leg.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that Corespec Limited failed to organise the delivery yard at the premises in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles could work in a safe manner. This was because of a lack of suitable segregation between pedestrians and vehicles.
Corespec Limited of Greencroft Industrial Park Stanley, County Durham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The company was fined £117,585 and ordered to pay £5,404 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ashfaq Ali said: “This injury was easily preventable. Planning for transport safety and implementing safe working practices should avoid such incidents. Workplace transport is a significant hazard, and the risks must be recognised and managed. There are simple and effective measures employers can take to help keep everyone safe.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required safety standards.”