Company fined after worker’s leg crushed by forklift truck

A manufacturing company has been fined £600,000 after a worker’s leg was crushed by a forklift truck.

The man was working for AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Limited when the incident occurred at the firm’s Birmingham site on Bordesley Green Road on 8 May 2018.

He had been walking across a pedestrian crossing at the site when a forklift truck, being driven by another worker, collided with him, crushing his leg and ankle. The driver did not slow down while approaching the pedestrian crossing and his vision was restricted as the forklift truck was carrying multiple intermediate bulk containers (IBCs).

The injured worker required surgery and skin grafts following the incident.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Limited failed to provide an adequate risk assessment nor a safe system of work. There was also a lack of appropriate supervision. This led to the adoption and development of an unsafe custom and practice on site.

AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Limited, of Wexham Road, Slough, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,188.60 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 3 April 2023.

HSE inspector Marie Wheeler said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by the employer adequately assessing the risks and ensuring a suitable workplace transport system was implemented with correct management and supervision in place.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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