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Forklift accidents

Global engineering specialist gets huge fine

A Global engineering specialist has been ordered to pay more than £615,000 in fines and costs after a worker was killed when a telehandler overturned during the construction of the Parkway development in Newbury.

The deceased who was 41, from Nuneham Courtenay, was using the vehicle to lift a pallet of tiles to a fourth story roof when the incident happened.

He tried to flee the telehandler as it began to topple, but he was unable to move away in time and it landed on top of him, causing fatal crush injuries.

His death was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive which found the safety of the vehicle was compromised by limited space and other obstructions in the area where he was required to work.

The company which was the principal contractor for the Parkway development, was prosecuted for failing to provide a safer system of work.

Reading Court heard during a five week trial earlier this year that the deceased, who was a married father of two, was part of a team responsible for tiling a number of roofs.

He was operating the telehandler with the boom fully raised but not extended. Raising the boom reduced the overall length of the vehicle, however it ultimately caused it to overbalance as it was being turned and manoeuvred.

HSE inspectors established that he had no option but to operate the vehicle in this way. The space between the buildings where he worked was almost the same length of the telehandler with the boom lowered, and meant he would have had no turning circle.

The court was told the vehicle was not suited for use in this area, and that had the space constraints been properly assessed and a better system of work put in place then the death could have been avoided.

The company, of Vanwall Business Park, Maidenhead, was fined a total of £525,000 and ordered to pay a further £90,577 in costs after being found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and two breaches of Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

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