Forklift accidents

Lack of thorough examination and employee training leads to fine

thorough examination logo14 Nov. 2012. A Mitcham rubbish clearance and skip company has been fined for ignoring safety warnings, leaving staff working on a site in Croydon at risk.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an inspection at the company on Beddington Lane, Croydon, in August 2011 and found that a JCB lift truck had not been thoroughly examined and was operated by staff who had not received adequate training.

The HSE served two Improvement Notices, giving the company until October to provide training and to arrange for a competent engineer to thoroughly examine the telehandler lift truck.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that the company did not take any action until February 2012.

The company pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to comply with two Improvement Notices. It was fined £5,000 for each charge and ordered to pay £3,500 in costs.

After the hearing HSE inspector Clare Hawkes, said:

"The company was given sufficient time to provide suitable training to employees operating the telehandler lift truck and to ensure that it was safe to use and properly maintained. Rather than get on with the work, the company delayed taking basic safety steps to protect workers from the risk of serious accidents.

"No one was injured in this case but incidents involving lift trucks are often due to poor supervision and a lack of training. Improvement Notices should be taken seriously – it is an offence not to comply with them."

Almost a quarter of all workplace transport incidents involve forklift trucks. For more information about thorough examinations of lift trucks click here.