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"Pedestrians routinely weaved between forklifts"

15 October 2015

A logistics company was fined £20,000 after a worker was hit by a fork-lift truck in a busy yard and suffered head injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted UCH Logistics over its failure to segregate vehicles and people in a yard where the danger of such an incident happening was entirely foreseeable.

CCTV footage from the site, in Staines, Middlesex, showed fork-lift trucks loading and unloading vans, with pedestrians routinely weaving between them.

Andrew Elliss, an employee of UCH Logistics, was hit by a reversing fork-lift truck in September 2014.

"CCTV footage from the site, in Staines, Middlesex, showed fork-lift trucks loading and unloading vans, with pedestrians routinely weaving between them."

Redhill Magistrates’ Court was told Mr Elliss, now 53, from Isleworth, sustained head injuries that continue to have an effect on him to this day.

UCH Logistics Limited told HSE the yard had been resurfaced a few years earlier and no markings were put in place to segregate vehicles and people.

Russell Beckett, the HSE inspector who investigated and prosecuted this case, said after the hearing: "Workplace transport incidents are the third highest cause of workplace fatalities, and accidents can be prevented if companies implement simple control measures.

The Handling & Storage Solutions Safer Logistics Campaign
Handling & Storage Solutions continues the Safer Logistics campaign to promote health and safety awareness in logistics.

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.

"The need to walk through this area was clearly foreseeable and the risk from vehicle traffic was high. When I saw the CCTV footage, it was clear this was an accident waiting to happen.”

UCH Logistics Limited, of Skylink House, Stanwell Moor Road, Staines, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 – specifically Regulations 17(1). It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay HSE costs of £942.40.