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Forklift accidents

Firms fined after worker suffers multiple injuries

Two companies have been fined after a lorry driver suffered multiple injuries whilst loading his lorry.

Leicester Crown Court were told that on the 26 October 2010, railway engine wheels weighing more than 2.5 tonnes each were being loaded onto the back of a lorry at the company in Meadow Lane, Loughborough.

A fork lift truck was being used to load the wheels and was being driven by an employee of the company. It was fitted with a lifting beam manufactured by Keenhandle Ltd.  Halfway through the lifting operation, the beam became detached from the fork lift truck and struck the lorry driver, 44. He suffered two broken bones in his left leg, a torn ligament, a broken left wrist and a broken rib. He was off work for nine months and is no longer able to work as a lorry driver.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the company was loading the wheels using an unsafe system of work and inappropriate equipment.

The investigation also found that Keenhandle Ltd, as supplier of the lifting beam, should have provided information and instruction to the company in its intended and safe operation, so that it would not be misused.

The company, of Arden Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect people not in their employment.

Keenhandle Ltd, of Loughborough Road, Quorn, Leicestershire, was found guilty at a trial in Leicester Crown Court in June of this year of a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect people not in their employment.

The company was fined £67,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,500. Keenhandle Ltd was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,000

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