Forklift accidents

Telehandler operator fined after fatality

telehandler fatalityA court has fined a telehandler operator £7,000, while the building company he was working for was fined £7,500 plus £25,000 in costs following a fatal accident.

The accident occurred on a site in Banbury in 2008. Three ceramic tilers, all from Northampton, were waiting in their car for a building plot to be unlocked in Broughton Road, Banbury, in Oxfordshire.

The telehandler operator was carrying out routine checks of the machine prior to starting work. He then raised and then fully extended the boom as part of his routine daily checks. However, the machine tipped over and the boom and forks landed on the car, crushing the roof. The fallen telehandler caught the car right where the front seat passengers were sitting

The passenger died from his injuries. He suffered fractures to his spine, and a brain injury. Another occupant of the car suffered neck and spinal injuries, a broken ankle, broken ribs and a fractured breastbone.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation showed the incident was preventable if the operator had followed the telehandler’s operating instructions and made sure that it was on firm level ground before full raising the boom.

The builder also failed to ensure that the equipment was maintained properly and the tyre pressures were found to be lower than recommended.

The operator was found guilty of breaching section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £7,000.

The company of Uxbridge, pleaded guilty to regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.