Forklift accidents, prosecutions and fines

Load falls of pallet truck and kills worker.

pallet truckA Wrexham firm was fined after a worker was killed when a machine weighing an estimated half a tonne fell on him.

Chester Crown Court heard Christopher Williams, a maintenance supervisor at Morgan Technical Ceramics Limited, was moving a power press that was stored in a shipping container in the yard behind the factory.

He was moving the press on a pallet truck when it toppled over, striking the 51-year-old, causing fatal injuries to his chest.

HSE’s investigation into the incident, which occurred in December 2012, found that the lifting operation had been unsafe and Mr Williams had not been adequately trained in undertaking the lifting of non-standard loads.

Morgan Technical Ceramics Limited, of Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon, was fined a total of £180,000, and ordered to pay £23,300 in costs after pleading guilty to offences under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing Health and Safety Executive inspector Katherine Walker said: “Thirty per cent of fatal accidents in manufacturing in Great Britain involve the fall of a heavy item. It is important that everyone involved in maintenance understands the risks and lifts are properly planned by a competent person.”