An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the worker:
- Had no previous experience in using the pallet truck or tail lift;
- Was not made aware of safe working practices for operating a pallet truck on a tail lift; and
- Was not given any practical training in using the machinery safely.
Investigators also found that the distribution firm had failed in its duty to carry out checks on the worker’s competence and previous experience.
H & M Distribution Limited pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
It was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,200.
The HSE said: “Employers who use agency workers or contractors have a responsibility to firstly establish the workers’ competence, taking into account their level of experience and familiarity with the work and work equipment, and then provide the appropriate level of training to ensure the work is done safely”.
It added: “If appropriate training had been provided, the life-changing injuries sustained by the agency worker could have been prevented”.