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FORKLIFT TRUCK FOUND WITH MULTIPLE DEFECTS

Construction firm failed to test FLT despite obvious disrepair

Aveley Construction Limited has been fined after neglecting to check and maintain a potentially dangerous piece of lifting equipment.

Basildon Magistrates heard (19 April) that a forklift truck was heavily used at the company premises in Essex for more than 12 months without a safety thorough examination.

The equipment should have been checked at least once a year. However, the truck was used to move heavy steel fabrications for well over a year despite obvious signs of disrepair.

Magistrates were told that an HSE investigation carried out in June 2011 found that when the truck was examined only six items out of 24 that formed the basis of the report were marked “satisfactory”. The remaining 18 items were classed as “repair needed”.

Defects included worn out tyres, flashing beacons and lamps not working and a loose counter-weight.

Not enough to rely on ‘reactive maintenance’

Aveley Construction Limited, of South Ockendon, Essex was fined a total of £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,238 in costs after admitting single breaches of the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Keith Waller said:

“The company’s forklift truck had a number of serious defects which put the driver and those in the vicinity of the truck at risk of being seriously injured or even killed.

All machinery must be maintained regularly to ensure it is safe to work with and be near. It is not enough to rely on reactive maintenance and only fix things when they go wrong; companies should be looking for signs of wear and tear before any deterioration leads to an incident.

HSE will not hesitate to prosecute when companies neglect their equipment and put workers and others at risk.”

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