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June 1, 2022

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Firm fined £80,000 after fatality involving forklift

A seafood processing company has been fined after a worker died following injuries sustained when she was run over by a forklift.

Karen Allen, an employee of QA Fish Ltd, suffered significant leg injuries as a pedestrian, following a vehicular collision in Scalloway, Shetland on 31 January 2018, Lerwick Sheriff Court was told.

A joint investigation by the HSE and Police Scotland found that no site-specific workplace transport risk assessment had been carried out. The use of the forklift truck was critical for the function of the business and the company failed to provide suitable and sufficient control measures to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles could circulate in a safe manner in the exterior of the premises, particularly with regards to the forklift truck.

The company failed to implement effective arrangements for the management of health and safety and also failed to act on the advice of a health and safety consultant several years prior to the incident.

QA Fish Ltd of Blacksness Pier, Shetland have pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £80,000, to be paid within 12 months.

Speaking after the case HSE Inspector Connor Gibson said “The tragic outcome of this incident clearly highlights why dutyholders must ensure that vehicle and pedestrian movements at their work site are properly assessed and adequately controlled. This fatal incident could and should have been prevented via suitable and sufficient control measures segregating pedestrians from vehicle movements.”

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