United Pallet Network (UPN) has been fined almost £100,000 after one of its employees was left with life-changing injuries when a pallet of glass weighing more than 1 tonne fell on top of him. Depot worker Andrew Potts was left permanently disabled and reliant on a cocktail of medication after breaking his neck in five places following the incident at a depot in Lichfield in 2016.
A pallet in a lorry containing a consignment of glass had shifted during transportation and fell on to the 58-year-old, who has not been able to work since, with his wife having to give up her own job to become his full-time carer. A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that UPN’s system of working was inadequate and not communicated with staff. It also failed to provide adequate training in how to recover shifted loads. As well as the multiple neck fractures, which resulted in a halo being screwed into his head for several weeks, Potts also suffered many other injuries including broken bones in his leg and feet. Those injuries resulted in 11 pins being inserted into one of his feet, three of which will remain for the rest of his life.
UPN pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £94,667 and ordered to pay costs of £7,590.34.