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London firm in court for worker’s injury

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

A London-based chemicals company has been prosecuted after a worker was run over by a forklift truck and had to have part of his leg amputated.

The long-serving employee, who had worked for the company more than 40 years, suffered major crush injuries to his right leg and had to undergo an above-the-knee amputation in hospital. He also sustained ligament damage to his left leg, a dislocated left elbow and was in hospital for four weeks. He has been unable to return to work at the company since.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that the forklift truck driver, who was carrying a one-tonne palletised load, was unable to see the injured worker, a laboratory technician, as he was sealing a drain cover on a roadway at the site. There were no barriers or tape indicating the area had to be avoided, although there were fixed signs in place banning pedestrians.

The truck hit him as it travelled on a main forklift route between the production and warehouse sites – a route that was used up to 100 times per day by each operative.

HSE found that the company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for carrying out maintenance activity in the road. The company had further failed to put measures in place to adequately protect employees working in the road from the risk of being hit by forklift trucks.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Stephen Farthing said:

“Every year there are more than 60 deaths from work-related transport accidents and over 2,000 major injuries. Employers must ensure that they assess the movement of vehicles and where possible segregate pedestrians to eliminate the risk.”


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