Firm fined £3,000 after worker’s hand is crushed
A COMPANY in Oban has been fined £3,000 for a health and safety breach, after a forklift driver crushed his hand.
3663 Alba Limited, of 814 Leigh Road, Slough, trading as Forteith Food Services, admitted failing to ensure workers had adequate health and safety training to operate a forklift truck at its depot at 73A Glengallan Road, Glenshellach, between May 26, 2014, and January 4, 2015.
Steven John Tonner, the charge continued, used the forklift truck with no formal training and, as a consequence, while reversing it struck a stationary vehicle and crushed his hand to his severe injury.
3663 Alba Ltd also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the forklift was maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
The procurator fiscal depute told the court on Tuesday November 8: ‘He had never been trained to drive it. During the course of [a] reverse, he crushed his hand. He lifted his right arm in an involuntary movement.’ He required surgery for severe injuries to his skin and bones.
Sheriff Anderson asked repeatedly for a link: ‘I am not clear why no formal training resulted in this injury?’
The fiscal depute responded: ‘He had not been trained. Part of his training was that drivers should not have their arms or legs outside [the vehicle].’
Sheriff Anderson said: ‘It was an involuntary action, which means he could not help himself.’
She added: ‘The company operations manager who had been trained to train, did not train. There seems no point sending out someone for a week to learn to train if they are not going to train.’
Defending, Joanna Clark said: ‘There are technical breaches of the regulations. There is a potential lack of connection of the breach and the act itself. This is a company that takes health and safety very seriously, and there has been a local problem in applying a very good system. This is by no means a flagrant disregard.
‘The company did everything it was asked to do. A site manager has been recruited to tighten up compliance. The company has a good safety record and has no previous convictions.’
Sheriff Anderson said: ‘This is a reputable company, which takes health and safety very seriously. I still do not know what the link is.’
On the first charge, she reduced the fine of £4,500 to £ 3,000 due to the early guilty plea, and admonished the firm on the second charge.
Steven John Tonner had not received any training in using a forklift truck when his hand was crushed.