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Devon firm fined for worker's fall from forklift

03-05-2012

A North Devon farming business has been prosecuted for safety failings after a worker fractured his skull falling from the prong of a forklift truck at an animal feed mill.

Richard Robinson, 64, from Pyworthy, near Holsworthy, was attempting to crush recycled material when the fall occurred at Cross Mill, Holsworthy Beacon, on 3 August last year.

His employer, WJ Watkins and Son Ltd., appeared before Barnstaple Magistrates in a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The court heard that some workers had developed their own system of working, which involved being lifted by forklifts and climbing into large bags of recycled material that were suspended in the air. They then trampled down material in the bags to make more room before coming down again on the forklifts.

WJ Watkins and Son Ltd., of Highfield, Holsworthy Beacon, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for allowing dangerous working practices. The company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,226.

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