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Company in court for the second time in twelve months

Radford HMY Group Ltd has been fined for safety breaches for the second time in less than a year, after a forklift truck overturned at its factory in Burnopfield.

What happened?

The forklift truck, driven by a 51-year-old agency worker, had been used overnight on an unsuitable outdoor path. As well as being only 40cm wider than the vehicle, the path was raised above the adjacent ground in places along its length of some 150 metres.

Additionally, the driver hadn’t been made familiar with the controls, and wasn’t authorised to operate the truck. Further investigation into the incident found that he had been taken on as a cleaner, with no requirement for him to operate a forklift truck.

The investigation also found that the firm had been fined £2,000 last year for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, after a worker’s hand was badly crushed in a machine.

What was the outcome?

Radford HMY Group Ltd was served with an Improvement Notice to make modifications to the path to make it safer to use.

It was also fined a total of £5,000 (£2,500 for each offence) and ordered to pay £3,824.45 costs after pleading guilty to two counts of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE Inspector Cain Mitchell said:

“This incident was entirely preventable and it is extremely fortunate
that the driver was not seriously injured.

“Radford HMY Group Ltd had failed to adequately assess the risks to employees
using this path and the operator in this instance had received
no training at all in the use of a forklift truck.

“The case is all the more serious as it is the second time in less than a year
that Radford HMY Group Ltd has been prosecuted for safety failings.”

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