B&Q fined £85k over forklift truck death
DIY retailer B&Q has been ordered to pay £83,500 after a worker was crushed by a forklift truck at the company’s Yeading store.
The retailer was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on January 16, having previously pleaded guilty to three health and safety offences relating to the company’s failure to provide arrangements for parking the forklift.
Because of the limited space available inside the warehouse at the store in Glencoe Road, the woman operating the ‘Mini Bendi’ vehicle – which is pushed, not driven – had to pull it towards a wall to park it.
She became stuck between the forklift and the wall on November 20, 2013, resulting in crushing injuries.
Richard Heller, prosecuting, told the court the company had failed to consider the risk of reverse parking the forklift in a confined space and had failed to heed warnings about this.
In passing sentence, the judge accepted that the ‘protection of the vehicle was given precedence over the safety of the employees’.
The case was investigated by Hillingdon Council following an accident notification from the store.
The company, which runs more than 350 stores in the UK and achieved profits of more than £187million in the financial year ending February 2013, was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay the council another £18,500.
Councillor Jonathan Bianco, cabinet member for finance, property and business services, said: “This was a very serious incident but thanks to the extensive investigation carried out by our officers this will not be repeated.
The warehouse has now been redesigned so the equipment can be used safely.”
A B&Q spokesman said: “We acknowledge the verdict from the hearing.
“We sincerely regret the incident and the injuries caused.
“Following the incident, a full investigation was undertaken and corrective measures have been put in place.”