Hardware supplier’s commended SSOW did not prevent forklift crush
Friday 17th November 2017
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
Team leader Debra Thorpe required 13 operations on her leg after being hit by the vehicle at the Owlett-Jaton warehouse on the Stone Business Park in Opal Way, Stone, Staffordshire on 28 September 2016.
The court was told that Thorpe was returning on foot from the toilets on the warehouse's ground floor to the mezzanine where she worked when the accident happened. She was airlifted to hospital where she spent four weeks recovering. She required a metal plate in her leg and skin grafts. She also received therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, Newcastle Under Lyme Magistrates' Court was told.
An investigation by Stafford Borough Council found that the company had failed properly to assess the risks posed by forklift truck movements in areas where pedestrians were likely to be.
In September 2016, Hexstone -- trading as Owlett-Jaton -- admitted to failing to discharge its duty under s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, contrary to s 33 (1)(a), and contravening reg 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, contrary to s 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Christian Du Cann, defending the company, said that Hexstone had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had co-operated fully with the investigation. He told the court that following a 2005 inspection, the company had been "commended" for its safe system of work. Du Cann added: "There was a system but it was not rigorous enough."
The supplier was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £7,424 in costs. The court was told that since the incident, the firm had painted dedicated walkways on the warehouse floor; installed a new crossing; introduced a "caution" tape barrier system; and reorganised the shelving to provide better visibility.
The court was told that Thorpe had remained on full pay since the accident and the company would be arranging a phased return to work for her.
District Judge McGarva said the supplier had not been cavalier in its approach and had since taken steps to remedy deficiencies uncovered by the council's investigation.
"The measures required are recognised standards in the industry. They failed to put in place those recognised measures," the district judge said.
Latvian Karlis Pavasars was working for Mid-UK Recycling at the firm’s Barkston Heath site near Ancaster in Lincolnshire when the incident happened on 19 July 2013.Pavasars, an agency worker, was cleaning near a conveyor that fed the shredder when the recycling line was started up and he was drawn in. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators found that the fixed gate that prevented access to the conveyor had been removed weeks before the incident, allowing workers free access to the area. Managers were aware that the gate was not in place a few days before the incident.
Howdens Joinery was prosecuted at Carlisle Crown Court after it pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It must also pay costs of almost £34,000. The court was told that Richard Brown had been delivering kitchen worktops to the company’s premises at Clay Flatts industrial estate in Workington when the accident happened in November 2014.A forklift truck was being used to unload two pallets from the heavy goods vehicle when it overbalanced. It fell on Brown and he died at the scene.
Mark Goodge had been using an emery cloth to clean by hand steel shafts on the lathe at Marcantonio Foods’ factory in Barking, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.Goodge’s gloves became entangled in the lathe and his lost four fingers on his right hand, broke several bones in his left arm and sustained a dislocated wrist.The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found Marcantonio had no safe system of work for cleaning the metal shafts.
Safi Qais Khan died at Master Construction Products Skips’ (MCPS) site in Birmingham after he became entangled in a poorly maintained trommel, also known as a sorting screen, in which waste is filtered as it descends a perforated drum. The machine was missing essential guards to prevent entrapment, it had no emergency stop button and was located on uneven ground that was strewn with waste, said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). MCPS did not have a safe system of work for the trommel.
The researchers analysed data from four previous cohort studies involving 19,280 men and 26,625 women from Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Participants were aged between 40 and 65, none of whom had diabetes when the study started.Questionnaires established participants’ exposure to bullying and violence at work in the previous 12 months.
Multinational businesses plan an average 5.4% increase in their environment, health and safety (EHS) budgets next year, according to new research by technology consultants Verdantix. A survey of 382 EHS directors in 31 countries found that 35% of respondents expect to increase spending on safety measures, while only 20% plan to raise investment in curbing greenhouse gas emissions.The survey covers EHS directors in businesses with annual revenues of at least $250 million (£191 million), including ConocoPhillips, BP and Rolls-Royce.