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FAKED FORK LIFT EXAMINATION RECORD EXPOSED

Firm fined for both forged document and fault-ridden truck

MIB United Meat Ltd has been sentenced for operating a fault-ridden forklift truck and trying to deceive HSE Inspectors by forging a positive examination report on the vehicle.

Westminster Magistrates heard the offences resulted from a routine health and safety inspection at their London premises in March 2013.

An HSE inspector asked to see the vehicle examination records for a 2.5-tonne counterbalance forklift truck. A document was later emailed to the inspector but appeared to be – and was later proven to be – a fraud.

HSE investigators revealed the forklift truck had never been examined since being purchased in August 2011. A specialist mechanical inspector from HSE found more than 40 faults, including some that could have endangered the operator.

Blatant attempt to deceive HSE forging document

MIB was fined a total of £18,000 and ordered to pay £2314 in full costs for single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974; the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.

Section 33(1)(m) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states it is an offence for “a person with intent to deceive, to use a document issued or authorised to be issued under any of the relevant statutory provisions or required for any purpose thereunder or to make or have in his possession a document so closely resembling any such document as to be calculated to deceive.”

Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Tahir Mortuza said:

“MIB United Meat Ltd was required by law to make sure its forklift truck was maintained regularly and properly examined to allow the identification of safety-critical defects. It failed to do this and the vehicle was allowed to deteriorate to the point of being riddled with faults.

It compounded this failure with a blatant attempt to deceive HSE by forging documentation purporting to be an examination record. This is a serious offence and demonstrates that the company was willing to expose its employees to the risk of serious injury or even death.”

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