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PLANT FIRM AND MECHANIC PROSECUTED OVER DEATH

Failure to properly modify fork lift braking system caused overturn

Morgans Plant Hire Ltd and mechanic Matthew Edwards have been prosecuted after a forklift truck overturned causing the death of driver Keith Nappin in Thame Road, Buckinghamshire, on 10 April 2007.

Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court heard 42-year-old Mr Nappin from Keble Road in Bicester, worked as a heavy goods driver for Morgans Plant Hire Ltd. On the day of the incident he was operating a fork lift truck to load excavator buckets onto flatbed lorries. When the fork lift overturned and Mr Nappin suffered fatal injuries.

Fork lift was not in good working order

HSE investigators found that the fork lift truck was not in good working order. Company mechanic Matthew Edwards had incorrectly modified the brakes of forklift truck and thereby failed to ensure the health and safety of his co-worker.

Morgans Plant Hire Ltd, based in Oakley, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

Matthew Edwards pleaded guilty to contravening section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

After the hearing, Peter Burns, HSE Inspector, said:

“When Keith Nappin went to work on 10 April 2007, his family expected him to return home safely, but the failings of his employers mean he’ll never go home again.

This prosecution serves to show just how important it is for companies to take their health and safety obligations seriously. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute any firm that fails to do so.”

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