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Witham: Worker fined for safety breach
12:00pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
A worker risked serious injury by being dangerously lifted by a forklift truck in full view of a safety inspector.
Paul Martin, of Hawkes Road, Witham, was attempting to move waste into a skip with colleague Jeff Minards on May 17.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector witnessed forklift driver Minards lifting Martin in a wooden platform on the blades of the machine.
The inspector was visiting companies Connexions (UK) and TV Bed, which share premises in Welham Green, Hertfordshire.
The offence on May 17 took place despite the two companies having been served with a prohibition notice a month earlier after heavy cases from a shipping container were unloaded in the same way.
At Watford Magistrates Court last Monday, both companies pleaded guilty to breaching Work at Height regulations and were each fined £1,000 and ordered to pay total costs of £3,684.
Martin and warehouse manager Minards, of Marne Avenue, New Southgate, London, both admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.
They were each gined £250, with individual costs of £873.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said: “Although nobody was injured, using a forklift in this way was an incident waiting to happen.
“The employees and the company should have both known better, especially after a prohibition notice had been served for the same dangerous way of working just a few weeks earlier.
“There was a clear need to develop a safe system of work and stick to it, yet that didn’t happen. It is neither safe nor sensible for employees to ignore HSE advice and blatantly ignore a formal enforcement notice.”
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