The circumstances were:
- The injured person was in an aisle in the warehouse taking tickets off pallets that were filled with paper goods.
- The pallets were then to be put on racks at either side of the aisle.
- A colleague using a forklift truck to stack the pallets on the right hand side of the same aisle, reversed and backed into the worker, crushing him between the truck and the pallet.
- He suffered three breaks in his right ankle as well as two fractures to his left leg
- Found that the accident could have been avoided if simple safety precautions had been taken
- Prosecuted Swan Mill Paper Company who were fined £8,000 (inc. costs)
The HSE Inspector said: "The incident was entirely preventable. Swan Mill Paper Company failed to make sure that there was a safe vehicle and pedestrian system of work in place within their warehouse. Such a measure would have prevented vehicles being able to access areas where workers on foot were moving around. Such a system was entirely possible without any detriment to the work being done. Due to the clear dangers of pedestrians and vehicles interacting in the same areas, companies need to ensure, as much as they can, that workers on foot and forklift trucks on the move are properly separated. The incident at Swan Mill Paper Company was in a fairly narrow aisle with restricted visibility. The risk of a collision between a moving forklift and a warehouse operative while both are working in the same location is significant and should have been obvious to the company."
Source: HSE 7th May 2013 LSE/96/13