Firm fined after driver’s leg amputated
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
A CARDIFF-BASED cargo company has been fined £110,000 after a lorry driver had to have part of his leg amputated after being struck by a reversing forklift truck.
In a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Cardiff Crown Court was told how Robert Deverell, from Caerphilly, was at the Cardiff Docks premises of Cargo Services (UK) as his lorry was being loaded with 18m steel beams by a forklift truck owned and operated by the company in June 2010.
While Deverell was waiting for the last of the beams to be loaded on to his lorry, he began to approach the forklift truck.
As he arrived at its side, the forklift reversed, striking Deverell and running over his right leg, which later had to be amputated below the knee.
He also suffered a fractured wrist in the incident and has been unable to return to work at his employers, Dyfed Steels in Llanelli.
The HSE investigation found insufficient segregation procedures to keep visiting drivers away from operating forklift trucks.
It also found that the forklift truck had a defective reversing alarm and horn, and maintenance records showed the horn defect had been a recurring fault over four years. Cargo Services (UK) was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and ordered to pay costs of £60,246.18.
HSE inspector Hugh Emment says: “This incident highlights the importance of keeping people away from operated forklift trucks.
“Workplace transport incidents are unfortunately all too common, and here you had a forklift truck moving only a short distance at slow speed but still causing a very serious injury.” ● Information on risk assessments can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/ risk/casestudies/index.htm
Employers should ensure that they have a robust safe system of work to ensure pedestrians, including visiting drivers, are kept at a safe distance from forklift trucks that are being operated.