City firm fined after worker crushed

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A SHEFFIELD-based construction firm has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he was run over twice by a forklift truck.

SIG Trading Limited, of Hillsborough Works, Langsett Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Health and Safety at Work legislation and was fined £36,000.

The incident happened at the company’s warehouse in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland, when a forklift truck driver loading metal did not see two colleagues in the warehouse and struck one of them before reversing over him and hitting him a second time.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard the injured man needed six metal pins and two steel plates in his leg and screws in his ankle and toes. He is left with a permanent limp, scarring and constant pain.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that there were no arrangements in the warehouse to keep pedestrians and vehicles apart.

HSE inspector Matthew Ramsey said: “In 2009/10, more than 1,700 people were injured in transport incidents in the workplace. These kind of incidents are easily preventable, and simple, low-cost measures can be put in place to prevent them occurring.

“This incident was entirely foreseeable. The company failed to carry out a risk assessment for the movement of vehicles and segregation of pedestrians from traffic or put in place a workplace transport plan. Coupled with the lack of training and poor work practices this led to the serious injuries sustained by the employee.

“After the incident, corrective measures including barriers, walkways and high-visibility garments were put in place and employees received training. The total cost of these simple measures was less than £4,500 but unfortunately they came too late for the man in this case.”