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Fork lift fall leads to prosecution for Derbyshire company

09-01-2012

fork lift truckVesuvius UK Limited has been fined after a forklift truck driver fell from a ramp whilst unloading a lorry.

Andrew Baxter, 50, from Eckington was unloading a 20ft container at Vesuvius UK Limited's Sheepbridge Works in Chesterfield on 15 February 2010.

Mr Baxter was using a forklift truck and mobile ramp when the ramp became separated from the lorry bed, dropping the truck and driver to the ground. Mr Baxter suffered a fractured back and crushed disk. He spent eight days in hospital, was off work for nine months and can still only work part time.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Chesterfield magistrates there was no evidence of a risk assessment having been carried out for any of the loading/unloading activities taking place on site, where refractory products are made. There was knowledge amongst the forklift truck drivers that the ramp could move away from the lorry beds and they had adopted an informal system of using the forks of the truck to push it back into position.

The manufacturing firm, of 1 Midland Way, Central Park, Barlborough, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £4,815.

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