An engineering company has been fined after a worker lost his leg from the knee down when he was hit by a forklift truck.
West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court heard how a Puma Engineering and Construction Limited employee was seriously injured whilst carrying out a lifting operation involving the transporting and loading of pipe spools onto a flatbed truck. A forklift truck he was acting as banksman for, drove into the back of his left heel. His left leg had to be amputated.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 16 November 2016, found the company had failed to properly plan, organise and carry out the lifting operation in a safe manner.
Puma Engineering and Construction Limited of Westwood Business Park, Brunel Road, Southampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £8000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3781.04
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said, “All lifts must be properly planned, assessed and carried out in a safe manner. There were other safer, reasonably practicable options that the company could have taken to prevent the forklift coming into contact with the individual. The safest method in this instance was to use tag lines or push sticks to control the load, as opposed to controlling the load by hand.”
Further information about best practices can be found in freely available HSE guidance – ‘Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock’: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg246.htm