Female worker crushed by reversing forklift truck

A company has been fined £6,000 for failing to monitor and supervise forklift truck movements in the packing area of its factory.

The court heard that the driver had reversed up to the injured person and a colleague in order to have a short conversation with them. She was crushed between the truck and a steel packing table. She sustained a fractured pelvis, damage to internal organs, and a broken left leg and spent some four months in hospital. A colleague sustained a minor foot injury in the same incident.

Prosecuting HSE inspector Joanne Nicholls said that an ineffective barrier meant to prevent lift trucks from entering the area had not been detected and rectified. She explained: "The barrier left an opening, which was wide enough to allow lift-truck access into an area where lift trucks were meant to be prohibited. The company also failed to adequately instruct relevant employees on the purpose of the barrier. This was compounded by inadequate supervision and monitoring by management, which allowed lift-trucks to breach the barrier during production. This accident highlights the complexities of managing transport risks in the workplace. Even with a fully trained lift-truck driver and a maintained forklift truck, accidents can still occur when insufficient attention is paid to pedestrian segregation and workplace layout."

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