A firm has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive investigated the death of an employee after a forklift truck accident.

Mr. Keith Nappin worked as a HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) driver at Morgan Plants Hire Ltd when the accident occurred in 2007. Mr. Napin was using a forklift truck that had been supplied by his employer to move digger buckets from where they had been left in a construction site to trucks. The digger buckets were then transported off site by the trucks. However, Mr. Napin’s forklift truck overturned whilst undertaking this work and he suffered extremely serious injuries that were to unfortunately prove fatal.

The Health and Safety investigated and found that the brakes on Mr. Napin’s truck had been modified by a mechanic shortly prior to the accident.

Morgan Plants Hire Ltd and the mechanic were prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Work Equipment Regulations for failing to ensure that the truck was in good working order and not protecting the health and safety of Mr. Napin. The employer pleaded guilty and was fined £50,000. The mechanic was fined £2,000. Both were ordered to pay legal costs in addition.

This a salutary lesson to employers that all machinery must be get in good condition and maintained regularly. Further, procedures such as the undertaking of risk assessments and healthy and safety checks should be carried out regularly to ensure that there is no or limited risk to employees.

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