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OVERTURNING FORKLIFT INCIDENT CAPTURED ON CCTV

Trainee electrician suffered severe injuries when fork lift toppled

CL Electrical Solutions Ltd and HT Gardner Distribution Ltd have been prosecuted after a trainee electrician fractured his pelvis in August 2009. He was working with another trainee changing warehouse lightbulbs from a forklift truck.

HT Gardner Distribution Ltd provided the forklift truck for which neither man had received any training despite company policy stating that only trained drivers should use forklifts. The company provided the cage that was attached to the forks of the forklift. It was unsuitable for the task.

During the work the forklift toppled slamming the cage into the floor. The workman inside the cage fractured his pelvis in two places, suffered facial injuries, a broken front tooth and lacerations to his elbow. The incident was captured on the warehouse CCTV system.

 
Young inexperienced trainees “left to get on with it”

CL Electrical Solutions Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of HSW Act 1974 Section 2 (1) and was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,300. H T Gardner pleaded guilty to a breach of HSW Act 1974 Section 3 (1) was fined a total of £7,000 with £5,000 costs.

HSE Inspector, Helena Allum, said:

“Changing light bulbs is such a common job the safety implications can be overlooked, but in high roofed workplaces, falls from height are a very real and serious risk.

This job was not properly risk assessed and as a result both companies chose the wrong equipment for the job and came up with a loose system of work. The two young trainees, inexperienced in work at height and not trained to use a forklift, were then left to get on with it.

Any work at height needs to properly planned, the right equipment chosen and workers given sufficient training to do the job correctly and properly supervised.”

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