Fork Lift Accidents on the Increase

A spate of accidents involving fork lift trucks have been in the news these past few days.

The HSE is investigating after a woman was trapped under a fork lift truck and badly injured at a Morrison’s superstore in Guiseley. Emergency services were sent to the store after an accident in the loading bay.

A woman in her 60s, understood to be an employee of Morrison’s, was trapped beneath the fork lift and had to be released by firefighters.

The woman suffered severe, but non-life-threatening, leg injuries. She was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance.

Meanwhile, a freight company has been fined £50,000 after a worker suffered severe injuries when he was struck by falling pallets. Neil Jennings of Ipswich was injured in an incident in January last year while working in the yard of Eagle Freight Terminal Ltd at its Great Blakenham site.

He suffered broken vertebrae and is now unable to carry out even light duties without significant pain after a fork lift truck toppled when it struck a pothole at the site, showering the worker with wooden pallets.

A subsequent investigation by the HSE revealed Eagle Freight Terminal did not effectively segregate pedestrians from areas where large vehicles were regularly in operation. Furthermore, the firm failed to ensure its premises were maintained in a safe manner, resulting in this serious incident taking place.

HSE inspector Paul Grover commented: “This was an entirely preventable injury caused by persistent disregard by Eagle Freight of basic safety measures. The company allowed the yard’s surface to deteriorate so badly that fork lift trucks were regularly destabilised when carrying loads.”

He added the risks associated with a failure to control the safe use of vehicles and the segregation of pedestrians are well known within the logistics sector, but Eagle Freight Terminal did not take these issues seriously.

The freight services provider pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace [Health, Safety and Welfare] Regulations 1992 and for failing to comply with two Improvement Notices.

The above stories serve as a reminder that we can never take safety for granted. If your business uses fork lift trucks, then why not make a pledge to participate in the activities taking place during the forthcoming FLTA Safety Week from 23rd to 27th September?

Original Article

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