Seatbelt would have saved forklift driver, says HSE
19 October 2015
A man who was crushed under his forklift truck at a Grantham company would have survived if he was wearing his seatbelt, an inquest at Grantham Magistrates Court was told.
Sian Tiernan, of the Health and Safety Executive, told the inquest into the death of Stephen Woollas, 49, that if he had worn the seatbelt he would have lived. Instead, she said Mr Woollas (pictured), of Harrowby Road, Grantham, either jumped or was thrown out of the cab when it tipped over and crushed him at Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres Ltd, in Gonerby Hill Foot, on July 30 last year.
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Managing Director of Vacu-Lug Tim Hercock said about 1,000 tyres were moved every day at the site and up to 14,000 tyres were stored there. The forklift trucks were checked every six months. He said there were ‘safe systems of work in place’ at the time of the accident. He was aware that it was up to the drivers’ ‘discretion’ to wear seatbelts.
Mr Hercock said there was no record of any truck overturning before. He said the company did not believe there was a ‘significant risk’ of a truck tipping over. After the accident drivers were told they had to wear seatbelts. He also said that tyres were no longer stored on the roadway where the accident took place.
While giving evidence, Mr Hercock said: "The company wishes to express its sincere condolences to Steve’s family.”