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A steel fabrication company based in North Yorkshire has been fined £135,000 and ordered to pay costs of £46,020 after one of its employees was killed when the fork lift truck he was operating turned over and crushed him to death.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation heard that the 27-year old driver was reversing the forklift when it collided with some steps that caused it to overturn. The driver was not wearing the seatbelt provided, and as a result of this suffered crush injuries which proved fatal. The investigation found that the company neither enforced the wearing of seatbelts nor controlled the speed at which the vehicles were driven.

HSE Inspector David Welsh said that “A company has a legal duty for the health and safety of people working on its site, whether they are employees or not. They are required to assess risks, eliminate them where possible and enforce proper control measures, such as seat belt wear, by checking that safe driving practices are being followed to deal with the risks that remain. Sadly, in this case, the prosecution shows that the company’s management of FLT driving operations and risk control measures failed with tragic consequences for the driver and his family.”

This tragic incident highlights the fact that even when suitable personal protection equipment is provided, it is of no use unless the user is properly trained on how and when to use it. In this case the use of the seatbelt could have prevented the death of a young man if only he had chosen to wear it. Robust health and safety procedures alongside proper management can avoid accidents such as this happening.

If you or someone you know has been injured at work, you might be entitled to claim for compensation from your employer. All companies have a duty to look after the health and welfare of their employees; this includes putting in place procedures that minimize the dangers present. Our solicitors have a great deal of experience in dealing with cases like these, so contact us today to find out if you could make a claim, and if so, how much it could be worth to you and your family.