Companies fined over forklift tech injuries at Pirelli Tyres

News Story
- 16 May 2024 ( #1179 ) - Carlisle, United Kingdom
2 min read
The accident happened at the Pirelli Tyres factory in Carlisle
The accident happened at the Pirelli Tyres factory in Carlisle

Three companies have been fined a total of GBP315,869 (USD379,689) over an accident at a Pirelli Tyres factory that left a forklift technician with a broken back and leg.

Two heavy metal skips fell on 47-year-old Ivan Weightman as he was servicing a forklift at the Pirelli factory in Carlisle in November 2019.

Three companies were prosecuted over the accident: Pirelli Tyres; International Rubber and Tyre Recycling, which moved materials at the site; and from DCS Multiserve, which removed waste.

The Carlisle Crown Court heard the three companies had improvised a system to reduce the bulk of tyres before they were transported off site.

Heavy metal skips were placed on stacks of tyres on a stillage, with the set-up stabilised by a parked forklift.

There was no effective control over access to the truck and the key was routinely left in the forklift.

The court heard Weightman had moved the forklift a short distance away from the stack in order to service it.

When he walked to the front of the truck, which was leased by International Rubber and Tyre Recycling, the skips slipped off the stack and fell on him.

He fractured four lumbar vertebrae, his left femur and was hospitalised for several weeks as a result of the incident.

Pirelli Tyres was fined GBP280,000 (USD352,550) and ordered to pay GBP4,703.43 (USD5,922) over the incident, while International Rubber and Tyre Recycling was fined GBP9,000 (USD11,331) and ordered to pay GBP4,566.13 (USD5,749) in costs and DCS Multiserve was fined GBP2,600 (USD3,273) and ordered to pay GBP15,000 (USD18,885) in costs.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Matthew Tinsley says the fines should serve as a warning for those responsible for managing contractors.

“It also highlights the risks of improvised work methods using unsuitable equipment,” Tinsley says. 

“HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies which do not do all that they should to keep people safe.”

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