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A freight company based in Suffolk has been fined after a forklift truck load collapsed onto one its workers, breaking his back.

Neil Jennings from Ipswich was waiting for his trailer to be loaded when one of the forklifts that was loading hit a pothole. The vehicle rocked sideways, dropping its pallets and boxes with one hitting Mr Jennings.

The incident, which took place in January 2012, was investigated by the HSE who last week (15th August) prosecuted Eagle Freight Terminal Ltd for a number of safety failings.

Mr Jennings sustained a number of fractures to the vertebrae of his middle back and upper ear and he was not able to work for several weeks. Now, he is able to only carry out light duties and can no longer carry out everyday tasks without pain and discomfort.

The HSE investigation saw that the road surface of the freight yard had several potholes. Several of the company’s employees had been complaining about the conditions, with limited management of traffic movements and no instructions provided regarding the segregation of workplace transport and pedestrians.

The court heard how Eagle Freight was served with two improvement notices after the incident, but by September 2012, no action had been taken to resolve the problem. The company was fined a total of £50,000 on top of £4,501.00 costs to the HSE.

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