Teenage worker hurt in fall from forklift
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Food firm fined £7,500 as HSE describes lifting people on pallets on forklifts as ‘utterly unacceptable’
By Patric Cunnane
LEICESTER MAGISTRATES’ Court has ined a food company £7,500 after a teenage employee was injured while unloading a shipping container attached to an LGV. The employee was off work for several weeks as a result of the injuries.
Simton Food Products, in Merry Lees, was also ordered to pay costs of £1,380 following the successful prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive.
The 18-year-old worker, who asked not to be identiied, was lifted on a pallet on a forklift truck to climb onto a stack of pallets by the container’s doors.
From there he entered the container and dragged the barrels inside onto the pallet held at height by the forklift.
The court was told that while stepping from one pallet to another, he fell approximately 2m, resulting in severe bruising to his abdomen and sprains to his shoulder and wrist. He spent several weeks off work. The HSE prosecuted the company’s owner, Jaisukh Chandarana of Kirby Muxloe, for the accident, which happened in January 2011.
He pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
“Had a safe system of unloading been used, this incident would not have happened,” said HSE inspector Alison Cook after the hearing.
“Lifting people up on pallets on a forklift is utterly unacceptable because of the potential consequences of a fall. It was pure luck that a young man was not more seriously injured.” She added: “Since the incident, Mr Chandarana has contracted out unloading to a irm with a level loading dock to eliminate the risk of a fall.
“It is a pity someone had to be hurt for this to be chosen.”
Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe.” n