Fatal Injury Fencing Firm facing large fine
13 December 2021 by Rhian Lowe
North Somerset Magistrates Court recently heard a very sad and distressing case following an investigation brought by the Health & Safety Executive, where an employee of a fencing company suffered fatal injuries after being struck by a stack of falling timber.
This tragic accident happened back in 2017 and involved a telescopic forklift (telehandler) which was being used to move timber. Unfortunately the machinery had not been subjected to annual maintenance or independent safety checks and the person operating the machine did not have sufficient or adequate training. As a result, the safety device which should have stopped the load from being lifted too high failed. The lift was raised beyond a safe height which subsequently caused the machine to tip over. The machine then fell on to some stacked timber which then fatally crushed an employee.
A full investigation found that the safety device designed to stop loads being lifted so high had not worked for a long time and the machine was regularly used to lift overly heavy loads. The yard supervisor did not know how the machine should be used safely and the yard itself was not set up to safety store timber.
The fencing company have been fined £35,000 and the yard owner was fined £3,000 with both parties ordered to pay £7,500 each in costs. The Health & Safety Executive advised that this was an accident that could have been avoided entirely if the machine in use had been properly maintained.
If you or someone you know may have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact Rhian Lowe on 01206 835269 for a free 30 minute telephone assessment or email [email protected]
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