I was shocked to read in the news that companies are still breaching health and safety regulations and causing needless deaths. I read that Vion Food was fined £100,000 after a worker was run over and killed by a forklift truck in West Lothian. Although I’m pleased that the company will have to pay a substantial fine I’m sure George Hardie’s death could have been prevented.
George Hardie died at the meat factory 2 years ago at the age of 60 after being struck by a badly loaded forklift truck. The Health and Safety Executive investigated and concluded that the driver of the truck had his view obstructed by 2 large crates he was carrying.
The food company plead guilty to breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act at Livingston Sheriff Court.
The court heard how it was just an ordinary day when Mr Hardie was walking across the yard to drop off some paperwork. His colleague was driving a forklift truck and his view was impaired due to his load. As he approached the container wash, he felt his truck go over something. He stopped the truck and saw Mr Hardie lying on his back. Mr Hardie was dead on arrival at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
The HSE investigation found that Vion Food had not properly risk assessed moving the containers around the yard and that they had failed to make arrangements to make sure the containers were moved in safely. They also failed to have a safe traffic management system or adequate supervision in place to keep pedestrians away from vehicles.
Hopefully lessons will be learned from this accident and they will change their procedures.
Things like this shouldn’t be happening to people in the workplace. If you’re the victim of an accident at work you should get in touch with the experts at Thompsons Solicitors to see if you’re entitled to compensation. It’s quick and easy and it’s no win no fee.