Importance of forklift truck training highlighted by court case

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The importance of forklift truck training has been highlighted by a court case.The importance of forklift truck training has been highlighted by a court case in which a trailer manufacturer was fined after a worker was struck by a load on a forklift truck.

An employee of Cheshire-based Meredith and Eyre was lifting a stack of three trailer chassis in March 2017, when a load shifted on the forks and struck another employee.

The injured employee suffered four spinal fractures, a broken shoulder, a broken rib and wounds to his head, shoulder and ankle, Manchester Magistrates’ Court was told.

An HSE investigation found the work had not been properly planned and there was no safe system of work in place.

The company should have made sure the stack was secure and stable on the forks and would not shift when the load was raised.

Simple steps such as:

  • Identifying the correct centre of gravity
  • Ensuring the forks were placed at that point
  • Providing employees with forklift truck training
  • Removing the need for the stack to be steadied by hand

would have controlled the risk and prevented the employee’s injuries.

Meredith and Eyre Limited of Broadway Industrial Estate, Hyde, admitted a Health and Safety breach and was fined £12,000 with costs of £1,745.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Roger Clarke said: “The incident could so easily have been avoided by simply putting in place the correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

The RTITB accredited forklift training courses offered by EP Risk Consultancy equip drivers with the skills to operate a range of forklift trucks correctly, safely and legally. The most popular are the full forklift truck training and the forklift refresher. These courses are recognised by the Health and Safety Executive. Please contact us for further details.