Company fined after employee injured by a forklift truck

A company specialising in interior and exterior stonework has been fined after an employee sustained serious injuries when he was struck by a forklift truck.

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard how on 22 January 2019, an employee of Tudor Stonework Limited was injured whilst moving stone slabs during a lifting operation. The system of work required two operatives to walk in front of the forklift truck to steady a suspended load. However, during this operation the forklift truck ran over the foot of one of the operatives resulting in an open fracture to his left leg as well as crush injuries to his foot.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the system of work for transporting stone slabs was not safe, as it required the operatives to be in close proximity to the moving forklift truck.

Tudor Stonework Limited of Silver Street, Enfield, Middlesex pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £466 and ordered to pay costs of £5,570.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Tom Pouncey said: “Industry practices should be reassessed where other stonemasons may be transporting stone slabs in a similar way.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

HSE
09 February 2022

What we think

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places a duty on Employers to prepare a Risk Assessment and record in writing the significant findings of the risk assessement, where the Company employs five or more people. A risk assessment will not only identify the Hazards that exist but it will also highlight the control measures that need to be put in place. These controls are likely to list the equipment that will be used and the need for using Competent Operatives to complete the task. A good risk assessment will include much more and it must be shared with the employees completing the work.

Employers must also ensure Risk Assessments are regularly reviewed. As well as the passage of time, changes in work processes, the introduction of new technolgy and changes in personnel are all good reasons to review existing Risk Assessments.

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Wiser Safety can develop a Working at Height Safe System of Work or we can provide a Risk Assessment to suit your requirements. We can also train your workforce so they are able to work safely at height.

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