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Manufacturer prosecuted over forklift death

A sauces manufacturer, AAK UK Ltd, has been fined £140,000 after a forklift truck driver was killed at a factory in Runcorn.

The victim was using his forklift truck to load a lorry trailer outside the factory on the Astmoor Industrial Estate when another lorry reversed into the side of his vehicle. The forklift overturned, killing him instantly.

The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found that forklift truck drivers had regularly driven onto a public road to load lorries, without the company putting any safety measures in place.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the 49-year-old from Warrington had been loading pallets containing tubs of mayonnaise onto the trailer. He had finished loading one side and had moved into the road to reach the other side of the trailer. As he moved the forklift truck into position, a lorry that had been parked up alongside the trailer slowly started to reverse. The victim shouted out and the HGV driver applied his brakes but it was too late to make a difference and the lorry collided with the forklift truck.

The court was told that vehicles regularly visited the site with deliveries or to pick up loads of mayonnaise to distribute, with most reversing down Davy Road to avoid having to turn around in the cul-de-sac.

The company had not carried out an adequate assessment of the risks to its employees or visiting drivers using the ‘Goods Out’ area. Drivers were also not given any information, instruction or training on how to load the lorry trailers safely, and there was poor supervision.

Conclusion

The moral of this tragic story is that all manufacturing businesses should ensure that they create a no-parking zone alongside the ‘Goods Out’ area. It may also be a good idea to set up booking-in systems for vehicles delivering to factories.

If you are a business that has any concerns about managing the safety of your employees when loading and unloading goods please do not hesitate to contact us on 0113 350 4030 or on hello@scesolicitors.co.uk


Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here

Sarah Dykes
Sarah Dykes

Sarah is a highly experienced Health and Safety Specialist with twenty four years’ experience across a broad range of industry sectors, including: Engineering Woodworking Manufacturing Haulage Leisure and Offices to name a few. Sarah has the know-how and experience to interpret complex safety legislation in practical terms. Sarah helps busy managers in organisations by taking the hard work out of complying with complex Health & Safety legislation by providing realistic advice. Sarah is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOCSH). Sarah also gives advice on how to reduce the likelihood and success of employer’s liability claims through her experience of working at 2 international insurance companies. This combined with her Health and Safety knowledge and experience make her the ideal person to help you with your Health and Safety requirements.

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