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Lichfield firm fined after worker's neck broken

09-01-2012

Palletways (UK) Ltd. has been fined after a forklift driver broke his neck when a computer cabinet he was loading onto a trailer fell on him.

Barry Hill, 60, was operating the truck at Palletways (UK) Ltd, Fradley Distribution Park, when he noticed that one of the cabinets was rocking on the forks.

Stafford Crown Court heard Mr Hill got out of the forklift to catch the cabinet but it fell forward, hitting him on the head and knocking him to the ground. His neck and right wrist were broken and he has not worked since the incident on 22 August 2008.

After the incident Mr Hill was bleeding from a visible head wound, but the depot manager did not know who the first aiders were and took him around the site looking for help rather than leaving him in the office with a colleague.

A trained first aider assessed Mr Hill but did not recognise the seriousness of his injuries. Nobody called an ambulance and instead the first aider drove Mr Hill by car to a hospital with no accident and emergency unit, from where he was airlifted to Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham.

He spent six days in hospital and 14 weeks in halo traction and still suffers from discomfort in his neck. He has been left partially disabled following the incident.

The company, of Wood End Lane, Fradley, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £60,000 in total and ordered to pay £41,339 costs.

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