Company landed with safety breach fine after worker’s leg is broken

Bradford Magistrates Court
Bradford Magistrates Court

A lorry-painting company has been fined after one of its workers suffered a severely broken leg.

Paintshop Northern Limited in Commondale Way, Oakenshaw, was fined £4,000 at Bradford Magistrates’ Court (pictured inset right) after a vehicle suspension arm being moved by a fork lift truck fell and landed on a man’s leg.

On June 6, the court heard the man was helping a colleague who was operating a truck transporting two 370kg suspension arms that had just been spray painted.

Both of the suspension arms were hanging down from the forks of the truck near the tips, which had been raised to a height of 2m to be spray painted.

But neither of the arms had been secured to the forks of the truck with chains or slings.

The worker on the factory floor was trying to help the truck operator to get the painted arms off the forks when one of them fell off, knocking him over and fracturing his leg.

After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector David Welsh said: “This employee had a serious injury that could have been far worse as a result of this company’s numerous failures.

“The whole operation using the fork lift truck to lift heavy materials in an unconventional way was unsafe from start to finish.

“The load carried needed to be secured to the truck and proper supervision in place to ensure that it was lowered to the ground in a safe way.

“The injury to this worker was entirely preventable.”

The company was fined a total of £4,000, and ordered to pay £991 in costs after pleading guilty to the offence under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

The Spenborough Guardian approached Paintshop Northern Limited but the firm declined to comment.

Visit www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/lift-trucks for more information on lift truck safety.