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Forklift accidents

Firm sentenced after forklift ran over man's leg and foot

An Aberdeen firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker was injured when a forklift truck ran over his leg and foot.

The injured man, 51, from Aberdeen, was working for the company at its premises in Miller Street when the incident occurred.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told that he was one of four men working in two teams to pressure-wash naturally occurring radioactive material from components in two large wash bays, both in a restricted zone on site.

At one stage he was working alone cleaning down one of the bays when a colleague from the second team returned driving a forklift truck. While the driver reversed the forklift and then moved forward to load components, the injured worker was walking backwards while hosing down the next bay. The truck collided with him driving over his left leg and right foot.

He suffered a broken leg and fractures to his foot. He spent a week in hospital and a further seven weeks in a wheelchair. He has since returned to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the company had failed to provide sufficient segregation between pedestrians and vehicles in the restricted zone. It also failed to provide sufficient instructions to control vehicle movements in the area while pedestrians were working.

The company carried out its own investigation into the incident and made a number of recommendations. However, no changes had been made to the system of work or the physical layout of the site when HSE visited six weeks after the incident. HSE issued a Prohibition Notice preventing the use of vehicles in the area until a safe system of work had been implemented so vehicles and pedestrians could work together safely.

The court heard there had been a similar incident a year earlier in 2011, when an employee was injured when he was struck by a forklift truck which was reversing within a building on the site. HSE took enforcement action, requiring the company to make improvements to the layout of the building so that pedestrians and vehicles could circulate safely within it.

The company of Davidson House, Miller Street, Aberdeen, was fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992.

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