A logistics firm has been fined £270,000 after two employees were injured in forklift accidents in two days.
In October 2014, a worker’s foot was crushed when he was hit by a forklift on the premises of Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive in Staffordshire. Just one day later, another worker was walking along a marked pedestrian walkway when a large metal box fell from a forklift, landing on top of him. The employee suffered severe injuries, including internal bleeding, a fractured pelvis and punctured lungs.
Following the incident, an investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the lift truck operators and supervisors on site had not received adequate training and insufficient risk assessments had been carried out prior to projects commencing. It was also highlighted that vehicles and pedestrians had not been correctly separated.
HSE inspector, Kelly Nichols, commented on the investigation: “It is really disappointing to find Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive (RHA) failing to manage and control the risks associated with the lifting and movement of vehicles and goods in a busy workplace. Sadly, in this case, the prosecution shows that RHA’s management of forklift driving operations and risk control measures failed, which exposed employees to danger from falling loads and from being struck by a vehicle. These serious injuries were preventable.”
Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and were ordered to pay £270,000 in fines and costs.