The Court heard that the 36-year-old worker had been helping to transport a three metre-wide metal sheet when he was injured. He and a colleague stood on top of the sheet to stabilise it on the prongs of the forklift so it could be moved, but as the sheet was lowered the worker’s left hand became trapped. He was taken to hospital by ambulance where his fingers were reattached but has only been able to regain partial use of his hand.
The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of employees and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £5,164 in costs. The company failed to carry out a proper assessment of the risks faced by their workers. It should not have allowed employees to stand on top of the forks and should have found another way to transport the sheets of metal such as using a large metal basket.
The Heatlh & Safety representative commented: “This incident resulted in an employee suffering permanent damage to his left hand because not enough thought was put into his safety. The company should simply not have allowed workers to stabilise sheets of metal by standing on top on them on forklift trucks. It would have been obvious to anyone witnessing this that it was unsafe.”
Don’t know what to say here – “it should have been obvious”, yes, but surely it should have been equally obvious to the employee, the forklift operator, the supervisor – etc – dumb and dumber . . . ?
Train your forklift operators: http://www.martinsforklift.com/training.htm