A food packaging firm has been fined £80k because of a forklift truck accident that happened back in 2015. An employee at the company was struck by a reversing forklift truck which resulted in a fractured pelvis.
After a thorough investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) it was found that the company had a few health and safety failings.
One of these was failure to consider the risks associated with pedestrians and vehicles operating within the same area. And additionally, the company failed to implement a traffic management system that effectively segregated workers and vehicles.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and was ordered to pay their fine as well as over £4k in costs.
Only a few weeks ago we wrote about the necessity for refresher forklift operator training and the need to designate different lanes and crossings for pedestrians and forklift truck operators to ensure the safety of all employees.
According to HSE, there were 27 cases in 2016 of workers being struck by a moving vehicle which accounted for 20% of workplace fatalities. And there were a further 44,000 cases of workers receiving non-fatal injuries caused by contact with moving machinery.
As well as the personal cost of workplace injuries, there’s also the fact that an average of 4.3 million working days are lost each year proving extremely costly for businesses.
Forklift truck hazards
There are some hazards associated with forklift truck use which is why proper training and implementation of health and safety regulations in the workplace is essential. Three of the most common hazards relating to forklift trucks are obstacles, vehicles tipping over and improper use of attachments due to incomplete training. Between 2001 and 2005, over 20% of all vehicle accidents at work were due to forklift trucks with the food manufacturing industry having one of the highest rates of incidents.
Since then, the number of accidents has decreased but that doesn’t mean health and safety regulations should be relaxed, in fact, it makes a case for the exact opposite. By adhering to health and safety regulations the rate of accidents relating to forklift trucks will continue to decline.