Unenforced H&S policy results in death

A company has been fined after a worker died when his fork lift truck overturned.

The worker was not wearing a seat belt.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that although the company had a Health & Safety policy requiring the wearing of seat belts, they did not enforce it.

The investigation also found a warning device on the seatbelt indicating when an operator moves off without a belt being worn had been disabled. Other fork lifts also had this warning device disabled.

What’s more the company failed to enforce a policy that fork lift drivers should use reverse when their view going forwards was restricted – the fork lift was moving forwards even though it was not possible to fully see what was ahead. It tipped over after running over an insecurely stored tyre that had rolled onto the roadway.

Monitoring and enforcement required

Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres admitted breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by failing to ensure the Health & Safety of its employees.

It was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £25,000.

The HSE said the tragedy could easily have been prevented if the employer had monitored and enforced its Health & Safety policy.

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