Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Manage the Vehicles in Your Organisation
Posted by David Cant on September 7, 2012

An incident involving a forklift truck has highlighted the need to manage vehicles within organisation. One worker was hit by a forklift truck as it was moving a large bale of cans in a recycling plant based in Warrington in 2010. The 43 year old man suffered with injuries to his feet and his ankles in the incident.

His employers, Novelis UK had already been given help and advice from the Health and Safety Executive before the incident. Inspectors had concerns about the segregation between pedestrians and vehicles and had provided the firm with help on improving the situation. Other workers had also voiced their concerns yet nothing had been done to amend the problem.

Novelis were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.  The breached the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and were fined £6,000.  The firm also have to pay £3,365 in court costs. The recycling firm had breach Regulation 17(1) that says that all work premises must be organised in a way that allows for pedestrians and vehicles to circulate together in a safe environment.

Changes Have Been Made and a Safe System is Now in Place

Before the accident, Novelis had not conducted any risk assessments involving the dangers and hazards that come with employees working alongside forklifts. No assessment meant there was no system that had been created with the hazards in mind to stop accidents from occurring. The workers knew they were in danger and they brought up the problem with the company only to be ignored. The HSE inspectors had also raised the problem and provided the firm with a chance to correct the problem. Unfortunately the warnings fell on deaf ears.

Since the firm knew of the prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive they have made some significant changes. Forklift trucks are now able to move around the warehouse alongside pedestrians safely thanks to the new systems. However, the HSE Inspector Martin Heywood did point out that it was a shame it took an accident and an injured worker to put right the problem in the first place.

Don’t Risk the Lives of Your Employees

If you have vehicles and pedestrians it is necessary to conduct risk assessments and create a system where the vehicles and pedestrians can be kept apart. Don’t wait for an accident to occur before you tackle these problems and never ignore any Notices provided by the Health and Safety Executive.

If you have concerns about the safety of your workers or the public and are unsure about the safety measures you have in place we can help. There are many health and safety services available that can reduce the risks and put in place new systems which work. Call us on 0800 1488 677 to find out more. Our health and safety consultants are ready and able to help you ensure your employees remain safe while working for you.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

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