Forklift accidents

Company fined for faking forklift safety record

forklift checksA North London meat wholesalers has been sentenced for operating a fault ridden forklift truck and trying to deceive safety inspectors by forging a positive examination report on the vehicle.

The company, of Enfield, Middlesex, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 3rd after admitting three breaches of safety legislation.

The court heard that the offences resulted from a routine health and safety inspection at their premises in Stockingswater Lane, Enfield, on 8 March 2013.

During the visit, an HSE inspector asked to see the vehicle examination records for the company’s 2.5 tonne counterbalance forklift truck. A document was later emailed to the inspector but appeared to be – and was later proven to be – a fraud.

HSE found the forklift truck had never been examined, as required by safety rules for lifting equipment, since being purchased in August 2011. A specialist mechanical inspector from HSE, who examined the forklift in April 2013, found more than 40 faults, including some that could have endangered its operator.

HSE served a prohibition notice on the company to stop any use of the vehicle until it was safe to use. They were fined a total of £18,000 and ordered to pay £2314 in full costs for single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974; the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.

Details of the thorough examination for forklift trucks required by the LOLER and PUWER statutes can be found here.