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January 3, 2024

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Company fined £900k after man crushed to death

A company in Leicestershire has been fined £900,000 after a father-of-two was crushed to death.

Lee Benham with his wife and two children. Image credit: HSE.

Lee Benham died while attempting to move a scissor lift at Nationwide Platform Limited’s workshop in Liskeard, Cornwall on 4 November 2021.

The 45-year-old, who was from south-east London but lived in Liskeard, was working for Nationwide as an LGV driver when the incident occurred. He was operating a scissor lift from the ground to clear an access path so he could move pieces of machinery out of the workshop and load it onto his lorry in the yard.

Failed to consider dangers of machinery 

The moveable controls on the scissor lift were in a position meaning that their direction was inverted, and when Lee operated the machinery, it came towards him and crushed him against a static scissor lift.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Nationwide Platforms Limited failed to sufficiently consider the dangers of operating machinery via moveable controls, and failed to provide appropriate monitoring and supervision during the morning when drivers were loading machinery onto their lorries.

There were 29 fatalities in 2022/23 caused by contact with moving vehicles or machinery.

Nationwide Platforms Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £900,000 and ordered to pay £12,405 in costs at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on 21 December 2023.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “This was a tragic incident and a stark reminder to businesses to be thorough in their risk assessment. The situation which led to Lee’s death would not have arisen had appropriate control measures been in place.”

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