An employee has received a fine from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after failure to use appropriate equipment led to an accident involving an apprentice.
On 20th July 2018, the employee was operating a forklift truck with an attached potato box at a potato storage warehouse located near Ely. The lift truck was being used to raise an apprentice electrician four meters from the ground to carry out electrical repairs.
This was an unstable way to complete the task, which resulted in the apprentice falling to the floor, sustaining a punctured lung and broken ribs. An investigation carried out by HSE found the employer of both workers had carried out a risk assessment and invested in suitable equipment for work at height, but this was not used by the employee who was in charge of work at the site.
On the case HSE inspector, Graeme Warden, commented “Unfortunately, forklift trucks are frequently used with potato boxes or pallets attached to lift people to work at height. This incident serves as a reminder of the potentially disastrous consequences.”
The employee, Francis Yardy, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, receiving a fine of £2,000 with further costs of £560.40. This is a pure example where safety is everyone’s responsibility. An employer can ensure they take the necessary steps to ensure safety – through risk assessments, the right equipment, etc., but it is the responsibility of their supervisors and employees to ensure they work as safety as is possible.
Source: SHP Online, Fine after apprentice fell from forklift truck, 3rd September 2019. Read the full article here.
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