Company Fined after Worker Falls from a Fork-Lift Truck

A carpentry and joinery company has been fined after a man working unsecured on the forks of a fork-lift truck fell 3.5 metres to the ground.

The man was working for Staircraft Group Limited at their head office site at Brayton Road Industrial Estate, Exhall, Coventry on the 14th June 2021. The employee was working from an unsecured stillage on the forks of a fork-lift truck cleaning office windows at height. The stillage tipped causing the employee to fall 3.5 metres to the ground, sustaining a broken leg and an injury to his elbow.

The Health and Safety Executive found the company failed to identify that using a stillage to lift someone on the forks of a fork-lift truck, a method they have used before, was unsafe. There was a lack of training for employees on the dangers if working from height as well as no risk assessments in place.

Staircraft Group Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1974 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,377.93.

HSE inspector Rebeca Whiley spoke after the hearing, “The employee’s injuries were very serious, and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”