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Agency worker survives forklift overturning

11 June 2014

The 51-year-old was taken on as a cleaner with no requirement for him to operate a forklift truck.

HSE found he had driven a forklift during a night shift, on a totally unsuitable outside path. The path was only 40cm wider than the truck, and was raised above the adjacent ground in places along its length of some 150 metres.

The driver was not assessed or authorised to operate the truck and had not been made familiar with the controls.

The driver was fortunately not injured in the incident and returned to work to finish his shift.

The incident was reported as a dangerous occurrence and investigated by the HSE, which prosecuted the company.

The Handling & Storage Solutions Safer Logistics Campaign

Handling & Storage Solutions has launched the Safer Logistics campaign to promote health and safety awareness in logistics in 2014.

We were inspired to launch the campaign by the Health and Safety Executive encouraging all stakeholders to show leadership and ‘be part of the solution’.

It is vital to push home the message that poor health & safety practices have no place in the modern logistics world.

What you can do

Clear safety first principles are worth repeating.

- If you doubt the safety of a working practice, stop. Talk to your supervisor or manager and agree a safe way of proceeding. Don’t carry on and hope for the best.

- No matter who you are in the management structure or workforce, take responsibility for your safety, don’t assume someone else has taken care of it.

Tyneside retail racking manufacturer Radford HMY Group was served with an Improvement Notice to make modifications to the path to make it safer to use. As a result, a number of improvements were made, including widening the path to 2.2 metres, levelling it off, clearer marking of pedestrian routes and improved warning signs. 

The path was also designated one-way and restricted to day shift only.

The court was also told that magistrates had fined the company £2,000 in October last year after it admitted breaching Section 2(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 following an incident in February 2012, when a worker’s hand was badly crushed in a machine on which a safety guard had been deliberately disabled.

Radford HMY Group Ltd, Hobson Industrial Estate, Burnopfield, Newcastle, was fined a total of £5,000 (£2,500 for each offence) and ordered to pay £3,824.45 costs after pleading guilty to two offences of breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.