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Worker loses leg after forklift collision

17 January 2018

An engineering company has been fined after a worker lost his leg from the knee down when he was hit by a forklift truck.

West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court heard how a Puma Engineering and Construction Limited employee was seriously injured whilst carrying out a lifting operation involving the transporting and loading of pipe spools onto a flatbed truck. A forklift truck he was acting as banksman for, drove into the back of his left heel. His left leg had to be amputated.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 16 November 2016, found the company had failed to properly plan, organise and carry out the lifting operation in a safe manner.

Puma Engineering and Construction Limited of Westwood Business Park, Brunel Road, Southampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £8000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3781.04

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said, “All lifts must be properly planned, assessed and carried out in a safe manner. There were other safer, reasonably practicable options that the company could have taken to prevent the forklift coming into contact with the individual. The safest method in this instance was to use tag lines or push sticks to control the load, as opposed to controlling the load by hand.”

Further information about best practices can be found in freely available HSE guidance – ‘Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock’: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg246.htm

Mission Possible: Building Safer Logistics

Safer Logistics seeks to build awareness on safety issues within warehousing and logistics, recognising that safety culture is the key consideration. We highlight the risks, the dangers, best practice and above all promote a can-do attitude to safety. We believe all workers should be empowered to speak up on risks they perceive in the workplace, and that safety should be taken seriously from the board level down.

The Safer Logistics Seminar Theatre and Feature Area will form a crucial part of The Health and Safety Event, which takes place at the NEC from 10-12 April 2018. Safer Logistics promises a wealth of education and advice tackling safety hot spots in warehousing and logistics.


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