Packaging firm fined £500k for forklift accident

Drink packaging firm Encirc Ltd was fined £500k for a forklift truck accident

A drinks packaging firm has been ordered to pay more than £500,000, after a worker was injured in an accident involving a forklift truck.

Liverpool Magistrates heard how the worker at Encirc Ltd – a producer of glass bottles for the drinks industry – had collided with the truck, breaking his arm.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), following the incident on December 14 2015, found that Encirc failed to take effective measures to ensure its workers were segregated from forklift trucks.

The company had a poor system of work that was not enforced for the workers who were most exposed to the risk, according to the HSE.

Previously served with an improvement notice

The court was told that the company had been previously served with an improvement notice in 2007 for poor segregation in the yard and warehouse areas. An employee had also been injured in an accident involving a forklift truck in 2008.

Encirc Ltd of Enniskillen, Fermanagh, pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 17 of The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations. The company was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay £7,290 costs.

After the ruling, HSE inspector Jane Carrol  said: “Poor segregation leads to accidents. There was a failure to properly plan work and this accident highlights the risks that are involved.

“Incidents relating to workplace transport can be avoided if effective measures are taken.”

A quarter of all workplace transport accidents

Forklift trucks are responsible for a quarter of all workplace transport accidents, according to the HSE.

The most common accidents involving forklift trucks included: being struck by a moving truck, struck by a load falling from the truck, trucks overturning, falling from a height and getting trapped between the mast and overhead guard.

Meanwhile, Essex salad growing company, Growing Green Ltd, has been fined £120,000, after an employee was seriously injured by a chainsaw while felling trees.

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