Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard this week how, on 11th October 2017, an employee of JL Engineering (Rixton) Ltd suffered multiple severe fractures and an erupted bladder when the heavy frame crushed him. He is still receiving medical treatment and has been unable to return to work.
He was one of two men trying to move a trestle frame using a forklift. In an attempt to release the frame, which was catching the wheels of the truck, the driver loosened the securing straps. This caused the frame to topple off the forks and onto the other employee.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not prepared a suitable risk assessment or lifting plan for lifting operations and had failed to recognise the risks associated with the way its employees were working. Employees were not adequately trained or instructed in methods of carrying out lifting operations safely, the HSE said.
JL Engineering (Rixton) Ltd of Chapel Lane, Rixton, Warrington pleaded guilty to breaching of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,895.32.
HSE inspector Catherine Lyon said after the hearing: “The employees injuries in this case were life-changing and could have been fatal. Employees were put at risk as a result of the company allowing fork lift trucks to be used without the appropriate training and monitoring of drivers.
“Employers have a responsibility to provide safe methods of working and to ensure workers have the necessary information and training to enable them to work without risk.”