October 25, 2018

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In Court

Worker killed by fork lift: Firm failed to implement own plan

Woodlands Homecare Ltd, a Leeds-based garden shed manufacturing company, has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was killed.

forkliftThe worker was pushing a trolley when he was struck by a side loader fork lift truck (FLT) that had been unloading a delivery wagon at the time of the incident, which happened on 23 July 2012.

The HSE’s investigation found that the FLT was unloading a delivery wagon at the time of the accident. As the worker passed a ventilation system cyclone, the reversing FLT struck him.

Woodlands Homecare Ltd of Railway House, Calverley Lane, Rodley, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £233,334 with £21,620 costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Rachel Brittain commented: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement the findings of their own transport plan.

“Vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries. Every year there are over 5,000 incidents involving transport in the workplace. About 50 of these result in people being killed.”

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T J Griffiths
T J Griffiths

The accident happened in July 2012 and the result of the court case is reported over 6 years later – why does this sort of investigation take so long, leaving so many people living under its looming shadow for so long? Surely it is possible to complete the investigation much quicker than this?