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Fork-Lift Truck Death Company Fined

Experts Say Death Was "Avoidable"


The "avoidable" death of a fork-lift truck driver has resulted in a company being fined £7,500 with £6,690 costs at Lincoln Crown Court.

Trackline (International), which assembles earth-moving equipment, admitted failing to provide a safe system of work, including load-handling arrangements for fork-lifts.

Shaun Porter, 31, had been moving a large steel assembly at the company's factory in Lincolnshire. When he tried to manoeuvre around an obstruction, the truck overturned and crushed him.

The Health and Safety Executive HSE found a lack of marked access ways, with employees moving around on unofficial routes with no official gangway.

Says HSE inspector Jo Anderson: "If vehicles, including fork-lift trucks, are to move around in the workplace it is vital that clearly marked gangways are in place and that the risks arising from the loads being carried are controlled.

"We have heard how a death could have been avoided. Companies must understand the importance of managing transport in the workplace in order to prevent a tragedy like this happening again."
Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “Sadly, this was a tragic but totally avoidable fatal accident.

“It is imperative that employers carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment in order to prevent any worker being injured or killed following a work accident.

“It is clear in this case that the employers fail to meet the standards expected of them.

“All too often, I have to assist workers pursue their compensation claim for injuries sustained following an accident at work in circumstances which could and should have been avoided.”