Riding on Forks

Back in November 2013, R was driving a fork lift truck at a scrap yard.  A labourer was assisting him in loading scrap cars into a shipping container in readiness to be exported.  He was standing on the forks of the truck and in the process the labourer’s left arm became stuck in the mast mechanism.  Three fire crews, a specialist major rescue unit, 2 air ambulances, a medical team from Manchester Royal Infirmary and 3 ambulance crews were called to help.  It took more than 2 hours to release R and he unfortunately sustained sever crush injuries and permanent nerve damage.  He was still receiving treatment over 2 years later and has been unable to work.

The company initially failed to report the accident under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).  It was some 3 months later when HSE inspectors discovered the worker had been instructed to stand on the forks.  The company pleaded guilty to breaches of Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 4 of RIDDOR.  It was also guilty to breaching health and safety law and handed a 6 month suspension sentence and ordered to pay costs.