News story

Company fined over forklift injuries

Thursday, 22 December 2016 ( #801 ) - Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive has been fined after two employees were injured in two days.
PHOTO: DREAMSTIME.COM
Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive has been fined after two employees were injured in two days. PHOTO: DREAMSTIME.COM
Staffordshire-based logistics firm Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive has been ordered to pay over GBP270,000 (USD334,500) in fines and costs after two employees were injured in two days. In October 2014, a worker had his left foot crushed when he was hit by a forklift at the Oxford Mini plant. The following day, another worker was pinned beneath a large metal box which fell from a forklift while walking along a marked pedestrian walkway. He suffered severe injuries that included internal bleeding, a fractured pelvis and punctured lungs. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that forklift truck operators and their supervisors had not received proper training and the risk assessments that had been carried out were poor. Vehicles and pedestrians had also not been separated properly at the site. Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive, which is based in Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Oxford Crown Court. HSE inspector Kelly Nichols says: "It is really disappointing to find Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive (RHA) failing to manage and control the risks associated with the lifting and movement of vehicles and goods in a busy workplace. "Sadly, in this case, the prosecution shows that RHA's management of forklift driving operations and risk control measures failed, which exposed employees to danger from falling loads and from being struck by a vehicle. These serious injuries were preventable." The company holds two O-licences, authorising it to run up to 31 vehicles and 59 trailers.