Forklift truck driver crushed to death

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A glass recycling company has been fined £180,000 after after a forklift truck driver was crushed to death on his first day at work.

Ian Aliski, 29 died when his truck overturned at the Recresco site in Ellesmere Port on April 26, 2010.

He had been hired on a four-day contract and was just a few hours into his first day when the incident happened, Liverpool Crown Court was told.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that forklift truck drivers regularly had to work in an area covered in waste materials. This prevented them from turning the vehicles safely.

On the day of the incident, Mr Aliski was moving aggregate from the production area to a storage shed when the forklift truck became unstable on the uneven surface and overturned.

He was not wearing a seatbelt and there was no company policy in place to ensure they were worn.

Forklift trucks in use at the plant were not suitable for operation on uneven surfaces, the court heard.

Alternative vehicles, such as four-wheel-drive, all terrain shovel loaders, could have been used and were already in use elsewhere on the site.

Since the incident, the company now uses these vehicles to move waste material on the site and it is now company policy for seatbelts to be worn in all vehicles.

Recresco Ltd, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottingham, was fined £180,000 with £38,693 costs after admitting a safety law breach.

HSE Inspector Martin Paren said: “Our investigation revealed a series of failures at the plant, with forklift trucks being used in an area that was completely unsuitable because of the uneven surface created by waste material scattered around the floor. There was also no policy in place for the use of seatbelts.

“Sadly it was entirely foreseeable that someone was at risk of being badly injured or killed. If the company had taken some simple measures to reduce the risks, such as using the all-terrain vehicles in use elsewhere on the site, then Ian’s tragic death could have been avoided.”

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