A Wolverhampton firm where a worker was crushed to death by a forklift truck has been fined just one pound because the firm has since gone into liquidation. Recycled Paper UK Ltd was found guilty of failing to ensure Mohammed Yasin, who had been driving the forklift truck, had adequate training.
Mr Yasin was working at the company in Neachells Lane, Wednesfield, when the truck he was using to stack bales of paper overturned and landed on top of him in January 2013. Magistrates in Wolverhampton were told the 37-year old from Birmingham had been manoeuvring the truck with nearly a ton of paper raised at the top of its' mast and was not wearing a seat belt.
They ruled the company had breached health and safety legislation in failing to ensure Mr Yasin, a father of three, had been trained in how to use the vehicle safely.
Chair of the magistrates bench, Ms Michele Wallis, said the starting point for the fine would have been £160,000 had the firm still been in business and said it was with a ‘heavy heart’ she could only order a token sentence.
She said: “This is quite a difficult case involving a fatality and a firm which is now out of business and is liquidated. Therefore our hands have been tied. However I want to make clear what would have occurred if the company had still been practicing.
“Even if we gave them the benefit of the doubt and classified them as a micro-company, the starting point would have been a £160,000 fine and the matter would have gone to crown court for sentencing.”