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PVC firm pays £520k after teen crushed to death by forklift

A manufacturer of PVC products has been fined £450,000 after a 19-year-old worker was killed when the forklift truck (FLT) he was operating overturned.


Ben Pallier-Singleton was driving the FLT down a sloping road in Vinyl Compounds’ Chinley yard in Derbyshire in the early hours of 10 February 2015 when it tipped over. He sustained fatal head and neck injuries, Manchester Crown Court on Minshull Street was told. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Derbyshire Constabulary found that Vinyl Compounds had failed to adequately train Pallier-Singleton, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

The company also had failed to inform its workers of the onsite speed limit, had not implemented measures to control the speed of vehicles, and had failed to install adequate lighting and edge protection to stop FLTs overturning, the HSE said. 

Vinyl Compounds pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. It must pay £71,778 costs in addition to the fine.

After the hearing HSE inspector Berian Price said: “The company’s management of forklift truck driving operations and its failure to provide various measures to ensure the safety of the external yard area, coupled with the lack of safe driver measures, such as wearing a seatbelt, exposed employees to serious safety risks.”


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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