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Company fined after lifting operation resulted in fatal incident

News | 25th Jan 2020

A vehicle-salvage company based in Carlisle have been fined after a customer was killed by a lift truck during an unsafe lifting operation.

It was on 15th February 2018, that Paul Spence was trapped and fatally injured by a lift truck he had purchased from Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd. The lift truck was being lifted onto a recovery vehicle using the company’s skip lorry at the time of the incident. The metal ring on the lift truck that was being used to winch the truck up onto the lorry bed failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap Mr Spence against the skip lorry.

During the Health and Safety Executives (HSE) investigation into the incident, they found that the company had failed to ensure that the complex lifting process was properly planned and that customers were exposed to risks due to unsafe work practices.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley commented “This incident could so easily have been avoided should the lift have been properly planned and appropriate equipment and safe working practices been employed as a result.

The company Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd of Stainton Rd, Etterby, Carlisle pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000.

Source: SHP Online, Customer fatally crushed by lift truck, January 23rd 2020. Read the full article.