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Worker's leg amputated

Posted: Thursday 17th, May 2012

Worker's leg amputated following forklift incident
Date: 4 April 2012
A Cardiff-based cargo company has been fined after a lorry driver had part of his leg amputated after being struck by a reversing forklift truck.

Robert Deverell, from Risca in Caerphilly was at the Cardiff Docks premises of Cargo Services (UK) Limited, as his lorry was being loaded with 18m steel beams by a forklift truck owned and operated by the company.

Cardiff Crown Court heard while Mr Deverell was waiting for the last of the beams to be loaded on to his lorry he began to approach the forklift truck.

As he arrived at its side, the forklift reversed, striking Mr. Deverell and running over his right leg which later had to be amputated below the knee. He also suffered a fractured wrist in the incident and has been unable to return to work at his employers, Dyfed Steels Ltd in Llanelli.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the 18 June 2010 incident found insufficient segregation procedures to keep visiting drivers away from operating forklift trucks.

It also found that the forklift truck had a defective reversing alarm and horn, and maintenance records showed the horn defect had been a recurring fault over four years.

Cargo Services (UK) Limited of Cold Stores Road, Queen Alexandra Dock, Cardiff, was today found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £110,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,246.18.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Hugh Emment said:

"This incident highlights the importance of keeping people away from operated forklift trucks. Unfortunately workplace transport incidents are all too common and here you had a forklift truck moving only a short distance at slow speed but still causing a very serious injury.

"Employers should ensure that they have a robust safe system of work to ensure pedestrians, including visiting drivers, are kept at a safe distance from forklift trucks that are being operated."

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