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Serious head injuries in the North East highlight the need for protection at work

20-12-2012

forkliftThe need for effective health and safety measures has always been an important one at the top of many company agendas but just how crucial it is has been highlighted by an incident in the north west of the UK. Two north east firms have been fined heavily after an employee suffered serious injuries to the head whilst at work when a forklift truck struck him on the head.

Incorrect Safety Equipment

The lack of a correctly functioning safety barrier on or around a mezzanine platform has been blamed for the accident, which left the victim in serious pain and suffering mentally following what must have been a distressing ordeal.

As the forks of the truck were raised, the right hand one had become stuck on the gate of the mezzanine floor – the driver was seemingly unaware and continued to lift the forks. The force built up and eventually the bracket was sheared, releasing the fork with some force onto the head of the accident victim. The result was a double fracture to the head, facial fractures and also an injury to the eye socket.

It has been determined that, with the correct guidance, safety work wear and mezzanine safety barriers, this incident would not have occurred or that if it had – these serious injuries could have been prevented.

The company had secured a contract to remove unwanted machinery from premises in Queensway, Hartlepool and two workers were seemingly embarking on their work without the correct safety equipment. This is something that the company in question should have ensured and highlights the fact that firms are still failing to adhere to their responsibilities with regard to health and safety.

Health and Safety

Although it is thought that all companies pay the correct attention to their health and safety obligations, incidents such as this indicate that this is not the case. By simply ensuring that staff are aware of all dangers, supplying them with kit such as hard hats and also making sure that areas such as raised floor have the correct safety barriers, a great deal of pain and inconvenience can be saved.

The victim does not currently feel up to talking openly about his experiences but the good news is that he has lived to tell the tale. With due diligence it is hoped that stories like these will become less and less common.

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