Forklift accident

Man injured in fall from makeshift platform

working platform accidentA Cardiff-based truck and van company has been fined £20,000 after a mechanic fell from a makeshift platform attached to a forklift truck. The 21-year-old HGV mechanic fractured his hip when he fell 15 feet at a Truck Centre 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, who does not wish to be named, 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 fork lift, 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 and is no longer able to go running or boxing.

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 £3070.70 costs.

HSE inspector Paul Cartwright said, "It's extremely fortunate that the injuries in this case were not more serious. "Falls from height can easily be fatal. Where possible, employers should avoid the need for employees to work at height. Where it can't be avoided, they must assess the risks, ensure suitable access equipment is used, and make sure there is effective planning, training and supervision in place."