SOLIHULL-based car part manufacturer, TRW Ltd has been fined £14,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3988.50 after a worker was crushed between a forklift truck and a trailer suffering serious injuries.
The employee, who was a driver of an articulated lorry for Ford Motor Company, was on site at TRW Ltd making a collection on August 18, 2014 when the incident happened.
While altering the support beam on the trailer during a loading process he was hit by the load on the forklift which crushed him against the bed of the trailer as the forklift truck dropped the load.
The driver suffered broken ribs and internal bruising and is still unable to return to work following ongoing physical problems.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that TRW Ltd had not adequately assessed the risk from the movement of transport and there was no formal loading or unloading procedure.
It also found no consideration had been given to segregating pedestrians or providing safe areas for third party drivers and that the forklift truck in use was a side-loading reach truck with the drivers view restricted by the load.
Following the accident, the company ensured measures were subsequently put in place to segregate pedestrians from areas where vehicles were likely to operate and the risk was greatly reduced.
TRW Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1), Section 33(1)(a) and Section 33(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Cwmbran Magistrates Court on Monday 15 June 2015.
The Magistrate said that they considered the breach to have been extremely serious, resulting in higher than usual culpability and potential for harm.
HSE Inspector Dean Baker said: “The injured person received serious injuries and now has long term physical and psychological problems as a result of this incident, howver this accident could have proved fatal.
“Although the company had a general transport policy that identified the risk to pedestrians, they did not ensure that pedestrians were excluded from certain areas during loading and unloading activities.
“Instead, they relied upon the use of high visibility jackets and the training of the forklift truck drivers to prevent accidents. Had the company followed HSE and industry guidance, the unfortunate accident would not have occurred.”