Man Fined Over Fatal Accident At Work

Fall From Height

09.12.2009


A forklift truck driver who allowed a colleague to use the forks of the truck he was driving as a makeshift lift has been fined £1,500 after the worker fell off and later died in a fatal work accident.

Appearing at Skipton Magistrates Court, Andrew Mason, of Sutton in Craven, was also ordered to pay costs of £1,000 after admitting to breaching section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The incident happened at haulage company Joda Freight, of Riparian Way, Crosshills, on 14 March 2006.

Magistrates heard that Mr Mason allowed his colleague Francis Roberts, from Bradford, to use the forks of the truck he was driving as an impromptu lift to access pallets on the second deck of a two-tier lorry.

Mr Roberts slipped and fell from the forklift, sustaining serious injuries that required prolonged treatment in hospital. He died two months later at St James' Hospital in Leeds from complications aged 48.

As an experienced and trained forklift operative, Mr Mason should have known better than to allow anyone to stand on or near his machine while he was working, the court was told.

After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive Inspector Paul Yeadon commented: "We hope that this tragic incident will serve as a lesson to all employers and employees who work with or near forklifts."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This was a tragic fatal accident at work and is a reminder of the dangers of falls from height.”