News story

Runcorn firm fined £140,000 after death

Thursday, 26 June 2014 ( #673 ) - Alton, United Kingdom
The FLTA's annual Safety Conference is taking place at Warwick University on 24 September 2014.
The FLTA's annual Safety Conference is taking place at Warwick University on 24 September 2014.
The CEO of the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) is urging businesses to learn from the accident that took place in Runcorn in April, causing the death of a forklift driver.

Peter Harvey says improving forklift safety in the UK is the FLTA's main concern and advises companies to look at the plethora of advice and information available on the association website that explains the steps to take to prevent accidents such as the Runcorn incident.

"When a forklift overturns, the driver's overhead guard can either be your protective roll cage or a crushing mousetrap.

"The single most effective thing you can do to protect drivers from injuries caused by overturning forklifts is to make sure that all operators on your site always use their seatbelts," Harvey says.

On 18 April 2011, Michael Moran was using his forklift on a public road to load a lorry trailer outside a Runcorn factory when another lorry on the road reversed into the side of his.

The forklift overturned and killed Moran instantly.

His employer, AAK UK Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found that the company had not put any safety measures in place to supervise forklift drivers who regularly used a public road to load and unload lorries.

The Liverpool Crown Court heard the 49-year-old from Warrington had been loading pallets containing tubs of mayonnaise onto the trailer. He had finished loading one side and had moved into the road to reach the other side of the trailer.

As he moved the forklift into position, a lorry that had been parked up alongside the trailer slowly started to reverse. Moran shouted out and the lorry driver applied his brakes, but it was too late and the lorry hit the forklift.

The company had not carried out an adequate assessment of the risks to its employees or visiting drivers using the 'goods out' area. Drivers were also not given any information, instruction or training on how to load the lorry trailers safely, and there was poor supervision.

AAK UK Ltd of King George Dock in Hull was fined GBP140,000 (USD237,756) and ordered to pay an additional GBP22,657 (USD38,473) in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The theme for the FLTA's annual Safety Conference for 2014 taking place at Warwick University on 24 September is: Is there a killer in your warehouse??Five real-world ways to transform fork truck safety.
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