Cargo firm fined £110,000 following forklift-collision trial
A cargo company has been found guilty of failing to separate vehicles and pedestrians at its docks in Cardiff, following an incident in which a lorry driver was struck by a forklift.
Lorry driver Robert Deverell was collecting steel girders from Cargo Services (UK) Ltd’s premises at Cardiff Docks, when the incident took place on 18 June 2010. He was waiting for the last of the 18m steel beams to be loaded on to his lorry by a forklift.
Mr Deverell had placed wooden bearers between the stacks of beams on the lorry. When he stepped away from the vehicle, the forklift reversed and struck him, knocking him to the ground. The forklift ran over his right leg, which later had to be amputated from below the knee. He has been unable to return to work owing to his injuries.
The HSE visited the docks three days after the incident and found that Cargo Services had no measures in place to separate vehicles and pedestrians at the site. Inspectors examined the forklift and found the reversing alarm and horn were both broken. Maintenance records showed the horn had a recurring fault for more than four years. There were also no reversing mirrors on the vehicle, and the truck’s warning lights were broken.
Two Improvement Notices were immediately issued to the company, which required it to have a competent person to inspect and maintain the forklift, and install shielding over the vehicle to protect it from rain.€
With employees who drive for business more likely to be killed at work than deep sea divers or coal miners, driver safety is a vital business consideration.
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