An Australian company has been fined $90,000 after an employee’s head was crushed when he was inside a container at the same time as a forklift. He was seriously injured when the forklift hit him, crushing his head between the load on the forklift and the inside wall of the shipping container.
The judge said that the company should have prohibited its employees from entering shipping containers while forklifts were unloading freight, instructed and trained its employees on correct operating procedures and supervised staff to ensure they unloaded freight safely.
In addition it was pointed out that a supervisor was aware of workers entering Ikea shipping containers to help forklift drivers unload pallets. Unloading these containers posed difficulties different to the unloading of containers from other suppliers yet no risk assessment was conducted into the increased safety risks involved.
Days after the incident the company banned employees from entering a container while a forklift was operating within one. Lesson learnt, but why did somebody have to be injured before the company, the supervisor and the employees figured out this was a dumb thing to do?