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Packaging firm fined £7,000 after forklift fractures driver's ankle

By Kyle Lindsay
Friday, April 4, 2014 - 14:00

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FINED: LP Foreman and Sons (not shown) fined £7k

Essex-based packaging firm LP Foreman and Sons have been fined £7,000 for safety failings after a forklift reversed into a delivery driver, fracturing his ankle.

The worker, 44, from Witham, was struck on August 19, 2013, when stepping from the rear of his lorry, after helping the forklift driver reach a pallet from inside the vehicle.

Alongside the serious fracture of his left ankle, the worker, who does not wish to be named, suffered severe tendon damage and a large fracture blister on his lower leg.

He returned on light duties in November 2013 and was able to resume as a driver in January this year.

“This was an entirely preventable injury caused by LP Foreman and Sons’ failure to recognise the hazards arising from loading operations at their premises.”

Paul Grover, HSE

Investigators from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered it had become commonplace for the company’s van drivers to instruct forklift truck operators where to place loads within their vehicles for ease of delivery.

However, investigators found that even though this brought drivers directly into the area of the yard where forklift trucks were operating, no effective procedures had been established.

The company had also failed to provide training to ensure workers on foot and moving vehicles were kept safely apart.

LP Foreman and Sons Ltd, of Farrow Road, Chelmsford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Chelmsford Magistrates Court fined the company £7,000, ordering them to pay costs of £621.

Paul Grover, Inspector at HSE, said: “This was an entirely preventable injury caused by LP Foreman and Sons’ failure to recognise the hazards arising from loading operations at their premises.

“Our investigation found that there was an absence of effective systems of control which were sufficiently robust to allow workplace transport and pedestrians to circulate the site in safety.

“It had become regular practice for delivery drivers to take up positions where forklift trucks were loading or unloading and this unsafe practice has led to a serious injury.”

Image courtesy of toolstop, with thanks.

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