A wine and drinks supplier has been fined £800,000 after an HGV driver was killed by a forklift truck at a depot in Salford. Kingsland Drinks in Irlam, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act at a sentencing hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 25 January. It was also ordered to pay costs of £5,614.30. John Fitzpatrick was waiting for his trailer to be loaded at Kingsland Drinks on 19 August 2020 when the incident occurred. The 59-year-old suffered serious head injuries in the incident and died in hospital having never regained consciousness. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company’s risk assessment was out of date and not fit for purpose, and there was no pedestrian and vehicle segregation in place in the loading area. In addition, visiting drivers were not given clear information about site safety.
HSE Inspector Sharon Butler said: “This death would have been prevented if clear controls had been in place for visiting drivers. Companies who have loading areas need to provide information and instructions to visiting drivers and have clear segregation in place to ensure the site is safe for all who use it. Easy steps can be taken to reduce the risk of visiting drivers becoming injured on-site.”