A logistics firm based in Lichfield has been fined a total of £60,000 for serious health and safety failings that could easily have cost the life of one of its fork-lift truck drivers.
In August 2008, a sixty-year old fork-lift driver was loading computer cabinets onto a trailer, when he noticed that one of the cabinets was unstable on the forks. He stopped the fork-lift truck in order to prevent the cabinet from falling, but was unable to do so and the cabinet struck the man on the head and knocked him to the ground.
The man sought help from the depot manager, who did not know who was responsible for first aid on site, and so led the man around looking for help. When a first aider was found, he drove the man to hospital rather than calling for an ambulance. The hospital had no A&E department, and so the injured party had to be airlifted to another hospital.
The driver was found to have visible head wounds, a broken wrist and a broken neck. After six days in hospital and 14 weeks in halo traction, the man still suffers from partial paralysis and pain. The company has been found to have failed to assess the risks and provide adequate driver training, as well as failing to have a clear and effective first aid procedure.