Company Prosecuted Over Forklift Fatality

A Fatal Accident With A Forklift Has Led To A Sauce Maker Being Prosecuted


A sauces manufacturer has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over a fatal incident in which a forklift truck driver was killed at the company's factory in Rotherham.

AAK UK was investigated by the HSE over the death of driver Michael Moran in April 2011, who was using his forklift to load a lorry trailer at the site when another lorry reversed into his vehicle from the side. He was killed instantly when the forklift was overturned and fell on him.

Mr Morgan had been loading mayonnaise when he got out of the forklift to access the other side of the trailer. It was at this point when the other lorry reversed. Although he shouted out and the driver tried to brake, it was too late to prevent the collision.

The HSE found the company had not carried out a proper assessment of the risks to staff or visitors in the loading area and had also not provided any training to staff on safe loading. It also found supervision levels were inadequate.

Commenting on the findings, HSE inspector Deborah Walker said: "Our investigation revealed a chaotic and dangerous system, and sadly it was entirely foreseeable that someone was at risk of being badly injured or killed."

She noted a new loading system has been established at the plant that removes the need for forklift truck drivers to venture into the road, something that, had it been in place in 2011, would have meant the accident never taking place.

AAK UK was fined £140,000 with costs of £22,657 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Dangerous activities involving forklifts are a common cause of accidents, with many of them being due to unsafe lifting practices.

Earlier this month, Kent-based forklift truck operator Stephen Bellingham was prosecuted after getting a teenager to stand in front of the truck holding a 493 kg heating unit on the forks. The item fell off and caused the worker to suffer multiple fractures.

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. Visit our fatal accident claims or accidents at work claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
This is a sad and tragic case where a worker has died after being hit by a forklift truck. It is very worrying that the subsequent investigation by the HSE revealed that the factory had a dangerous and chaotic system and failed to meet safety guidelines to ensure accidents such as this do not happen.

“Employers have a duty to keep workers safe and the employer failed to meet its duty in this horrific case.

“Too many companies are making simple mistakes which expose their workers to the risk of serious injury or even death. This has to change and we hope that this case is a well overdue wake-up call for many employers.”
Stephen Nye, Partner