Worker Left With Serious Injuries After Forklift Incident

Company Fined Over Safety Failings

25.08.2011

A workplace injury expert has called on employers to not ignore transport safety, after a construction supply firm was fined £36,000 over an incident in which a worker was seriously injured after being hit by a forklift truck.

SIG Trading Ltd pleaded guilty in relation to the incident at its Livingston warehouse last year, when a forklift truck driver drove the vehicle forward despite having restricted vision and ran over a colleague‘s right leg. After being made aware of an incident, he then reversed and once again hit the victim.

Following surgery, which included the insertion of pins and steel plates into his shin, the worker has been left with a permanent limp, scarring and pain.

An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that there were no safety arrangements in place to ensure safe working practices in relation to transport and pedestrians.

Commenting on the incident, Elaine Russell, a Partner and a specialist in workplace injury claims at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said: “Employers have a duty to ensure that health and safety is a fundamental priority in the workplace.

“Unfortunately, this devastating incident highlights the terrible consequences that failing to address the issue can have on workers.

“It is vital that any firms with access to warehouses take steps to review and assess the standards they have in place as regards the safe use of transport when it is in close proximity to other members of staff.

“These issues need to be considered carefully if lessons are to be learnt and wholly preventable incidents like this one are to become a thing of the past.”