Firm Fined £800,000 After Lorry Driver Killed by a Forklift Truck at Salford Drinks Depo

A drinks firm has been fined £800,000 after a lorry driver was killed by a forklift truck.

John Fitzpatrick, 59, suffered serious head injuries after he was hit by the truck while waiting for a delivery for his trailer at Kingsland Drinks Ltd in Irlam, Salford.

Mr Fitzpatrick, from Chadderton, Oldham later died in hospital.

Kingsland, which supplies wine to several large supermarket chains, pleaded guilty to two health and safety breaches at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Kingsland Drinks Ltd’s risk assessment was ‘not fit for purpose’.

There was no pedestrian and vehicle segregation in place in the loading area. Visiting drivers were not given clear information about site safety, investigators found.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sharon Butler said: “This death would have been prevented if clear controls had been in place for visiting drivers.

“Companies who have loading areas need to provide information and instructions to visiting drivers and have clear segregation in place to ensure the site is safe for all who use it. “Easy steps can be taken to reduce the risk of visiting drivers becoming injured on site.” A spokesperson for Kingslands Drinks Ltd said: “Our deepest sympathy goes to the family and friends of Mr Fitzpatrick. We accept the outcome of the sentencing hearing.” Following the tragic accident we promptly implemented changes to enhance the existing health and safety controls on site to minimise the risks and have fully co-operated with the Health and Safety Executive throughout the investigation. 

“The business has had a good health and safety record for many years and has a sincere regard for the well-being of employees and visitors to the site.”Given ongoing proceedings, we are not able to comment further at this time.”