Worker suffers multiple injuries in forklift accident


A Cheshire trailer manufacturer has been fined £12,000 after a worker was struck by a load on a forklift and left with multiple injuries.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 10 March 2017, an employee of Meredith and Eyre, based on the Broadway Industrial Estate, Hyde, was in the process of lifting a stack of three trailer chassis using a forklift when a load shifted on the forks and struck another employee.

The injured employee suffered four spinal fractures, a broken left scapula, a broken rib and wounds to his head, shoulder, and ankle. The HSE found the work had not been properly planned and no safe system of work was in place.

The firm should have ensured the stack of chassis was secure and stable on the forks and would not shift when the load was raised. Simple steps such as identifying the correct centre of gravity and ensuring the forks were placed at that point, providing employees with refresher training on lifting loads and removing the need for the stack to be steadied by hand, would have controlled the risk and prevented the employee’s injuries.

Meredith and Eyre pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay £1,745 costs. HSE inspector Roger Clarke said: “The incident could so easily have been avoided by simply putting in place the correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”