Fine for firm where man was crushed by fork-lift

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AN INTERNATIONAL food supplier has been fined under health and safety laws after an employee was crushed by a fork-lift truck.

Charles Hilliar was seriously injured in the accident at DBC Foodservice Ltd, in Petersfield.

The 60-year-old had been cleaning the warehouse, in Bedford Road, with two colleagues who were using fork-lift trucks to move pallets so he could sweep underneath them.

But he got caught behind a moving fork-lift truck which crushed him against upright racking.

Mr Hilliar, from Petersfield, suffered two fractures at the base of his skull and severe nerve damage. He has been unable to return to work.

The firm, which had employed Mr Hilliar for 10 years, pleaded guilty to its role in the accident and was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £7,000 costs at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court.

An investigation led by Rebecca Walters, East Hampshire District Council’s Health and Safety Officer, found that the company had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the work being carried out and therefore a safe system of work had not been provided.

As a result staff had created their own method of work.

Following the accident, in August 2009, the council served two improvement notices requiring DBC Foodservice to carry out risk assessments relating to cleaning and sweeping activities and workplace transport activities within the warehouse.

The council said it was vital employers carry out risk assessments to ensure a safe working environment.