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Worker Crushed Under Forklift Truck

Worker Crushed Under Forklift Truck

Date: 18th June 2015 | By: Claire Malley | Categories: Health and Safety

A firm has been prosecuted after a father-of-two died when a metal frame being loaded onto a lorry trailer fell on top of him. Jonathan Newham died in hospital from crush injuries to the chest and head following the incident on 10th July 2012.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the company was charged with serious safety breaches.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that George H Kime and Co Ltd were transporting a consignment of goods from Wiltshire to Wrangle for the items to be auctioned in Skegness. The trailer carrying the goods was needed elsewhere so Mr Newham and a colleague used forklift trucks to move the goods, which were not on pallets, from the trailer to another vehicle.

Mr Newham had moved a large metal-wheeled chassis, also known as a ‘dolly’, from the first trailer. His colleague then attempted to load the dolly onto the second trailer. For reasons unknown, Mr Newham climbed onto the second trailer.

As his colleague loaded the dolly onto the trailer using the forklift, it fell off the tines of the forklift truck, trapping and fatally injuring Mr Newham underneath.

HSE’s investigation identified that George H Kime and Co Ltd had failed to ensure the safety of their employees during the movement of the metal dolly. They failed to plan and supervise the lift and despite the forklift truck drivers being trained and competent in moving items on pallets there was no safe system of work in place for the movement of loads not placed on pallets.

The Company should have placed someone in charge who was qualified to plan the lift to ensure it was suspended securely, and to ensure that the item could be placed down on the trailer safely after being moved. If the lift had been properly planned and supervised the risks would have been identified and controlled. The court heard that whilst the company had some procedures in place, the absence of strong management systems meant that the Company was complacent about the risks and failed to ensure that the procedures were followed.

George H Kime and Co Ltd was fined £125,000 and ordered to pay £61,935 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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