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Forklift accident

Fined £20,000 for fall from height

A truck and van company has been fined £20,000 for breaching height safety regulations after a mechanic fell from a DIY platform attached to the forks of a fork lift truck.

The unnamed 21-year-old HGV mechanic fractured his hip when he fell 4.5m at their premises in Rogerstone, Newport.

The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into the incident on 27 August 2009.

Newport Magistrates' Court heard how the worker was standing on the platform while repairing a light at the top of a high-sided vehicle. The makeshift platform had been put together by a colleague from a wire surround, which had been screwed to a wooden pallet and placed on a fork lift truck.

The platform had not been securely fixed to the forklift, so when the worker leant to catch a light bulb thrown up to him by a colleague, it fell, taking him with it.

The father-of-one needed an operation on his hip, was off work for a month, and has had to undergo numerous physiotherapy sessions since. He still suffers continuous pain in his hip.

The HSE investigation found that the company failed to ensure that work at height by its employees was properly planned and supervised and carried out safely.

The company, which is based in Lydney, Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £3,070.70 costs.

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