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Customer fatally crushed by lift truck

23rd January 2020

A Carlisle vehicle-salvage company has been fined after a customer was trapped and fatally crushed when a lift truck he had purchased was being loaded onto his own recovery vehicle.

On 15 February 2018, a lift truck purchased from Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd was lifted using the company’s skip lorry onto a recovery vehicle at Stainton Road, Etterby. The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap Mr Paul Spence against the skip lorry.

The HSE investigation found that the company had failed to ensure that this complex lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and that it had failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk.  A competent person would have identified that this loading method with this equipment was fundamentally unsafe, the HSE adds.

The Company Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd of Stainton Rd, Etterby, Carlisle pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Matthew Tinsley commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided [if] the lift have been properly planned and appropriate equipment and safe working practices been employed as a result”.

1-2Call Worksafe Ltd advise that all lifts are planned appropriately and that suitable segregation is in place to protect pedestrians and other unauthorised persons from entering the lift area. If you require guidance or advice on these sort of work processes contact the office on 01553 340754.

Directors - do you have an internal competent person to support health & safety? What skills do they have? 1-2Call Worksafe Ltd is running an IOSH Managing Safely course on 24th - 26th February, spaces are still available.

Employers and employees put themselves at risk of prosecution by not having in place and not following risk assessments, safe systems of work and personnel being trained correctly.

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