Safety signs importance highlighted after worker hit by fork lift truck
Posted by Nicole Stevens.
Firms have been reminded of the importance of warning signs when using heavy machinery.
A pipework firm has been fined after a worker was hit by a fork lift truck, highlighting the importance of health and safety signage.
The employee of Lincolnshire-based Polypipe was struck by the truck after standing on top of a lorry to load coiled plastic pipes in June 2009, Skegness Magistrates' Court heard.
To get down from the 14ft-high lorry, he and a colleague stepped into a cage supported on a fork lift truck.
But the cage touched the side of the lorry and began to fall. The driver of the fork lift tried to catch it by piercing the side of the cage with the forks, but a fork hit one of the men, who suffered fractured ribs and couldn't work for three weeks.
A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Polypipe did not ensure work was properly planned or carried out safely.
The company was fined £20,000, ordered to pay compensation of £5,000 to the injured employee and pay £4,765 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Madeley said: "This incident was completely avoidable and stems from Polypipe's entire system of work being fundamentally unsafe. There should have been a system for loading that didn't involve unsafe work at height and employees should have been provided with a safe method of getting back down to the ground."
She added, however, that the firm had since taken steps to resolve the issues and had introduced an acceptable system of work.
Recently, a vehicle repair firm was fined after one of its workers fell from a cage balanced on a fork lift truck. The incident happened when the 38-year-old man, who was trying to change a light at the back of the vehicle, placed a metal cage on the forks of a fork lift truck and stood on top of it, while a colleague then raised the forks.
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