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January 9, 2020

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in court

£150k fine after equipment falls onto worker

A Co Antrim firm has been fined £150,000 after an employee suffered serious injuries when a heavy piece of equipment weighing approximately 1 tonne landed on him when it was being unloaded.

forkliftBriggs Equipment UK Ltd pleaded guilty to five breaches of health and safety legislation at Laganside Court, Belfast, after a lorry driver sustained serious injuries when a Hyster Stacker truck, which was being delivered to Briggs Equipment UK Ltd Depot in Newtownabbey, fell from the forks of a forklift truck and landed on top of the injured party.

HSENI Inspector Karen Robinson said: “The investigation found that the work could have been carried out safely using a crane, rather than a forklift truck which was unsuitable. The company also failed to ensure that people were excluded from areas where they would be in danger.

“This incident could have been avoided if the correct equipment had been used for the activity, and the lorry driver had been instructed to wait in a safe place until the lifting operation had finished. This incident was entirely foreseeable and could have been avoided if simple control measures had been put in place.”

Breaches and fines

Breaches and fines for Briggs Equipment UK Ltd were as follows:

  • Article 4(2)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; fine £30,000
  • Article 4(2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; fine £30,000
  • Article 5(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; fine £30,000
  • Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 2000; fine £30,000
  • Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 2000; fine £30,000.

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