Belvedere firm fined £17k after forklift driver 'nearly dies' when truck overturns (From News Shopper)
Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Belvedere firm fined £17k after forklift driver 'nearly dies' when truck overturns
AN UNTRAINED worker at a Belvedere steel company nearly died after a "risky and poorly planned" skip manoeuvre went wrong.
A forklift truck overturned during the operation at Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies, in Fishers Way and the company has now been fined £17,500.
The firm pleaded guilty to two breaches of the provision and use of work equipment regulations on October 9 in relation to the incident on September 13, 2011.
Westminster Magistrates Court heard how the worker was told to empty the bins at the company, which supplies reinforced steels bars to the construction industry.
He used a forklift truck to lift and move a skip to a larger waste container where he balanced it on the edge.
The forks of the truck were then retracted and used to tip the skip and empty the contents.
Leaving the cab of the forklift, the worker climbed into the waste container to attach a sling to the empty skip and the forks so he could lift it back out.
As he climbed back into the forklift to lift the skip, the truck overturned and the lifting column came to rest on the edge of the container.
Because the column did not hit the ground, there was a small gap between the cab and the floor that the worker was able to crawl out of.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the operation "posed clear risk" because the operator was untrained, unsupervised and was not wearing a seatbelt.
HSE Inspector Maria Strangward said: "The forklift truck should have never have been used to lift and manoeuvre the skip in this way.
"It was a system and method of work that posed clear risk, and the worker is extremely fortunate to avoid being seriously injured – possibly even killed had the forklift struck and crushed him as it overturned."
He added: "The onus is on employers like Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies to ensure operations are properly planned, managed and supervised, and that adequate training, instruction and equipment is provided to at all times to protect workers."
The firm must also pay £11,000 in costs.
Comments are closed on this article.