June 13, 2018

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In Court

Fine after forklift collision leaves member of public with life-changing injuries

A County Antrim fertiliser retailer has been sentenced after a member of the public received life changing injuries to his right leg when it got trapped between a forklift truck and the back of a lorry during an unloading operation.

Antrim Crown Court heard how the injured man, who was passing the business premises in his vehicle, had stopped to offer assistance to Richard Boyland, trading as North Antrim Potatoes, whose fork lift truck had become trapped during unloading of fertiliser bags from a flatbed delivery lorry.

The recovery operation of the fork lift truck involved the lift truck being towed by the lorry from the grass verge onto the public road. During the operation the fork lift truck, driven by Boyland, struck the member of the public who was very seriously injured.

A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) into the incident, which occurred on 13 February 2017, found that Boyland had failed to ensure the safety of somebody who was not an employee but rather a member of the public who had simply stopped to offer assistance.

In addition, Boyland had not completed any approved training in relation to the operation of fork lift trucks.

Richard Boyland, trading as North Antrim Potatoes, was fined £5,000 at Antrim Crown Court for breaching Article 5(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

HSENI Inspector Kyle Carrick said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of an employer to adequately manage and communicate the risks of an unplanned work activity.

“When deliveries and collections are made, loading and unloading areas should be in designated places with sufficient space, clear of passing traffic, pedestrians and other people who are not involved in loading and unloading.

“Members of the public are unlikely to be familiar with workplace hazards and should always be kept separate from hazardous work activities.”


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