Two fatal forklift truck accidents incur hefty fines

Jamie Anderson, 35 year old father of one, died on 4th June 2019 when the forklift truck he was operating overturned at a depot in Newark. He was found in the car park trapped under the roll cage of the counterbalance forklift truck he was operating. He was moving waste material when the forklift truck clipped a kerbstone at the edge of road and overturned. Jamie was not wearing a seatbelt.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Barcode Warehouse Ltd failed to enforce the use of seatbelts, instead leaving it to the forklift operators to choose whether to wear it or not. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 .They were fine £500,000 and had to pay costs of over £7000.

The HSE inspector, Tim Nicholson, said “The tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. Jamie’s death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved and enforced the use of seatbelts by the forklift operators”.

In another fatal forklift truck accident, Michael, a HGV driver aged 63, employed by RT Keedwell, was collecting a load of wastepaper bales at Valencia Waste Management Limited’s site in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire.

With three rows of bales already loaded on the lorry using a forklift truck, the Valencia employee tried to load a fourth row. However, some bales in the third row were dislodged and fell off the lorry, crushing Michael who was securing the other bales onto the lorry. Each bale weighed at least 820kg.

HSE investigation found that it was not custom and practice at Valencia Waste Management Limited’s Earls Barton site for bales to be loaded by forklift operators at the same time the lorry driver was strapping bales which had been previously loaded onto the lorry flatbed. Systems were in place for drivers to remain within their cabs or some other safe location away from the loading activity, but this was not adhered to at the time of the incident.

Valencia Waste Management pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £1 million plus costs.

Other News

In the previous Latest News, we talked about the regulations regarding driving a forklift truck on public roads. As reported on BBC, an unusual incident happened on a public road in USA when a 12 year old boy stole a forklift truck which resulted in an hour long police chase. The forklift truck struck about 10 parked cars, but there were no reported injuries. Initial investigation points to the forklift truck being left unlocked with the key hidden inside.

Click on the image below to view the video of police chasing a forklift truck driven by a 12 year old boy.

Wallace School of Transport including Forklift Training in London is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 60 years’ experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training on 020 8453 3440, choose option 3 or click here to email us.

Scroll to Top