06 January 2012

Vesuvius UK fined after fork lift driver fractures his back

Derbyshire manufacturer Vesuvius UK has been fined £24,000 after a forklift truck driver fell from a ramp and fractured his back while unloading a lorry.

Vesuvius UK had failed to provide evidence a risk assessment had been carried out ahead of the accident, the HSE said.

Andrew Baxter from Eckington was unloading a 20ft container when a mobile ramp became separated from the lorry bed, dropping the truck and driver to the ground.

Baxter suffered a fractured back and crushed disk in the accident at Sheepbridge Works, Chesterfield in February 2010.

There was knowledge among forklift truck drivers that the ramp could move away from the lorry beds, Chesterfield magistrates heard.

And drivers had adopted an informal system of using the forks of the truck to push it back into position, the hearing was told.

HSE inspector Fiona Coffey said:"Vesuvius UK Ltd failed to proactively assess the risks of loading and unloading using the mobile ramps, a failure that resulted in Mr Baxter sustaining severe injuries."

She added: "The company had a legal duty to ensure work equipment was safe to use and that employees were instructed in safe systems of work and supervised but it had also failed to do so."

Vesuvius UK Limited, of 1 Midland Way, Central Park, Barlborough, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Max Gosney

Supporting Information

Vesuvius UK Ltd

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