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Forklift accidents, prosecutions and fines

Pet food manufacturer fined after injury to worker

forklift seat beltA Nottinghamshire pet food company has been sentenced after a worker was seriously injured when a forklift truck he was driving overturned.

The teenager was employed by Alpha Feeds Limited, which has now changed its name to Grove Pet Foods Limited, as a factory operative at the company’s premises.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuting, told Mansfield Magistrates’ Court that on 30 July 2014 the young worker was operating a forklift truck but it began to overturn, and as he jumped clear, the truck fell onto him. He sustained serious lower limb injuries including compound fractures in both legs, vascular and nerve damage and a crushed left heel.

The injured worker was 18 years old at the time of the incident and had been working at the company as a factory operative for just two weeks. HSE’s investigation found that although he had been allowed to operate the lift truck under supervision, he had received no formal training in its safe use and was able to operate the vehicle as a set of keys had been left in it.

HSE told the court the company’s system to control keys to access lift trucks was not effective, since operators regularly left keys in the lift truck, and operated them using those keys. Had the keys only been available to trained, authorised operators, then the injured worker would not have been able to operate the lift truck. HSE found it was common practice for seatbelts not to be worn.

Grove Pet Foods Limited (previously known as Alpha Feeds Limited) of Grove Road, South Leverton, Retford, Nottinghamshire admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,332.

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