Health and Safety News

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Meat plant worker killed by forklift

Vion Food Scotland Ltd. has been fined £100,000 after a worker was killed when he was hit by a forklift truck so badly loaded its driver could not see him.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that George Hardie, 60, was walking across the yard at the company premises in West Lothian, on 2 June 2009 to drop paperwork off at another part of the site.

As he was walking, a colleague was driving a forklift carrying two large empty containers across the yard to be washed.

The containers were stacked on top of each other on the front of the forklift, and the top of the load was approximately 160cm from the ground, making it hard for the driver to see over them.

As the driver approached the container wash, he felt his truck go over something, stopped, climbed out and saw Mr Hardie lying on his back, with the lower half of his body trapped underneath the forklift.

The HSE investigation found that Vion Foods had not properly assessed the risks of moving the containers around the yard or made arrangements to make sure the containers were moved in a safe way. The investigation also found the company did not have a safe traffic management system or adequate supervision in place to keep pedestrians away from vehicles.

The company pleaded guilty to breaking Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £100,000.

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