A Buckinghamshire delivery firm has been fined after a driver suffered life changing injuries when he was hit by a reversing fork-lift truck.
Delivered UK Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after the incident on 2 September 2014 at their depot in Ajax Avenue in Slough.
Reading Crown Court heard how the delivery driver who was working for an agency, was pushing a trolley containing parcels along the side of the building between the wall and a row of delivery vehicles. When he reached the end of the row of vehicles a fork lift truck which was operating near an entrance to the building reversed out of the shutter door, striking him and trapping his foot in the rear wheel.
The worker sustained fractures and crush injuries to his left foot and leg and spent five weeks in hospital following the incident. Five months later he required an operation to amputate his left leg below the knee.
The HSE investigation found that at the point where the fork lift truck entered and exited the building there was no barrier in place to prevent collision with pedestrians, neither was the yard organised in such a way as to allow safe pedestrian access to vehicles that were parked on the other side of the yard. The company’s risk assessments for unloading/loading of vehicles and the use of forklift trucks all failed to consider the use of physical barriers to segregate pedestrians from vehicles. An improvement notice was served and the company has now made the necessary changes to enable pedestrians and vehicles to circulate safely.
Delivered UK Limited of Stirling Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974 and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,783.04
Guidance on keeping vehicles and pedestrians separate can be found here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/separating.htm