Firm fined £3,000 af­ter worker’s hand is crushed

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

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.

Pic­ture: Kevin McG­lynn

Steven John Ton­ner had not re­ceived any train­ing in us­ing a fork­lift truck when his hand was crushed.

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