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Forklift accidents

Forklift truck hit by lorry overturns killing driver

May 20th 2014. A sauces manufacturer has been fined £140,000 after a forklift truck driver was killed at a factory in Runcorn.

The deceased was using his forklift truck to load a lorry trailer outside the factory on the Astmoor Industrial Estate on 18 April 2011 when another lorry reversed into the side of his vehicle. The forklift overturned, killing him instantly.

The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found that forklift truck drivers had regularly driven onto a public road to load lorries, without the company putting any safety measures in place.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the 49 year old from Warrington had been loading pallets containing tubs of mayonnaise onto the trailer. He had finished loading one side and had moved into the road to reach the other side of the trailer.

As he moved the forklift truck into position, a lorry that had been parked up alongside the trailer slowly started to reverse. He shouted out and the HGV driver applied his brakes but it was too late to make a difference and the lorry hit the forklift truck.

The court was told that vehicles regularly visited the site with deliveries or to pick up loads of mayonnaise to distribute, with most reversing down Davy Road to avoid having to turn around in the cul-de-sac.

The company had not carried out an adequate assessment of the risks to its employees or visiting drivers using the ‘Goods Out’ area. Drivers were also not given any information, instruction or training on how to load the lorry trailers safely, and there was poor supervision.

The company, of King George Dock in Hull, was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £22,657 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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