In Court – Worker Hit by Forklift Truck in Blackpool
At Compass Health & Safety Consultancy (HSC), we understand the critical importance of maintaining a safe work environment. We are dedicated to providing reliable and practical advice to businesses of all sizes and sectors, helping them manage health and safety risks effectively.
Today, we share an unfortunate incident that highlights the necessity of implementing adequate safety measures to protect employees and avoid accidents. The incident involving self-employed delivery driver Andrew “John” Robinson serves as a somber reminder of the consequences of negligence in workplace safety.
On March 25, 2022, Andrew “John” Robinson, a 53-year-old self-employed delivery driver, experienced a devastating accident at T. Print Limited’s Bristol Avenue site in Blackpool. While delivering goods, he collided with a vehicle, resulting in multiple leg fractures and a dislocated ankle. The severity of his injuries necessitated an airlift from the scene, and he spent a month in the hospital. Despite multiple follow-up operations, a year later, Mr. Robinson has not recovered sufficiently to return to work. The incident not only affected his physical health but also took a toll on his mental well-being.
An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that T. Print Limited failed to ensure the safe segregation of delivery drivers during loading and unloading activities. Mr. Robinson was not instructed to stand or wait in a designated safe area while unloading his vehicle. The risks should have been identified through a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. As a result, T. Print Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was subsequently fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £4,696.95 in costs at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on July 20, 2023.
Lessons to Learn:
This unfortunate incident underscores the vital importance of implementing a safe system of work for loading and unloading activities. All workplaces that utilise forklift trucks for such purposes must carefully consider the risks involved and implement adequate segregation controls to protect pedestrians, including delivery drivers.
Regulation 17.0 – Organisation of Traffic Routes:
The workplace health, safety, and welfare regulations, specifically Regulation 17.0, emphasise the need for wide enough traffic routes to ensure the safe passage of both pedestrians and vehicles.
Where it may not be reasonably practical to widen the route, traffic management systems should be provided as necessary.
Additionally, in buildings, it is crucial to draw lines on the floor indicating the routes followed by vehicles, such as forklift trucks.
At Compass HSC, we strive to ensure that incidents like the one involving Mr. Robinson can be prevented through comprehensive safety measures and risk assessments. Workplace safety is of utmost importance, and our team of experienced professionals is committed to assisting businesses in exceeding safety expectations.
By embracing a proactive approach to health and safety, companies can safeguard their employees, prevent accidents, and maintain a thriving work environment.