Forklift accident

Chard company fined after forklift injury

6 May 2011. A metal engineering company based in Chard Junction has been fined after one of its workers suffered serious injuries when a forklift truck tipped over trapping his leg under the load.

Yeovil Magistrates Court heard how, on 28 July 2009, The employee, aged 36, from Crewkerne, was guiding a load of angle irons being moved with a forklift when the incident occurred at his employer's premises at Yonder Hill works. The forklift tipped and the load landed on him fracturing the knee and ankle on his left leg. The breaks were so bad his knee had to be pinned and he suffers from ongoing pain.

An HSE investigation found that the load was being moved using an extension attached to the forklift which had been made in-house. The extension had not been tested to ascertain what maximum weights could be positioned along the extension arm without risk of the fork lift tipping.

In addition, there had been no training for either the operators or the supervisors on lifting loads of angle irons, nor had the supervisor undertaken any training for his supervisory role.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Kate Leftly, said:

"The load he and his colleagues were working with was large and heavy, but despite this, the lifting operation was not properly controlled and there was no planned safe system of work."

"Incidents involving forklifts are all too common, and often could have been avoided altogether had the operators and supervisors been properly trained."

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £4,940 in costs.

Further advice and information on managing forklifts can be found at the HSE website