Forklift truck accident leads to amputation

Worker may seek damages after leg amputation 2758

Compensation may be sought by a professional who sustained life-changing injuries during an accident at work.

The unnamed 59-year-old had to have part of his leg amputated when he was run over by a forklift truck at premises owned by London-based chemicals firm Nuplex Resins in Newham in August 2011.

At the time of this incident, the laboratory technician - who had worked for the company for more than 40 years - was sealing a drain cover on a road at the site when the vehicle, which was carrying a palletised load weighing around one tonne, ran over him.

This left the long-serving employee with major crush injuries and subsequently needed an above-the-knee amputation on his right leg, while he also suffered ligament damage in his left leg and a dislocated left elbow.

Due to the severity of his injuries, the worker had to spend four weeks in hospital and has not been able to return to work since the accident.

An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that the driver of the forklift was unable to see his colleague on the ground.

Furthermore, the company had also failed to put safety measures such as taping or barriers in place, even though the route was used up to 100 times every day by vehicle operatives travelling between its warehouse and production site.

During a case heard at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the safety watchdog stated Nuplex Resins had not conducted a suitable and sufficient risk assessment before allowing maintenance work to be completed on this busy road.

The organisation therefore admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined a total of £20,000 for its negligence.

Stephen Farthing, inspector at the HSE, commented: "The serious injuries the worker sustained could have been avoided. It would have been relatively easy for Nuplex Resins to close the road down for the 15-minute period that was needed to seal the drain cover.

Posted by Francesca WitneyADNFCR-1500-ID-801567383-ADNFCR

05/04/2013 16:35