Firm fined £120,000 after man’s hand crushed at depot

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A TIMBER merchant has been fined £120,000 after a man’s hand was crushed by a fork lift truck against a metal post.

Robert Gassor, 37, was making a delivery at Pompey sponsor Covers Builders Merchants’ depot. He suffered the ‘life-changing injuries’ at the Quarry Lane, Chichester, depot on March 18 last year.

A Chichester District Council spokeswoman said: ‘When he arrived, the timber on his vehicle was unloaded using a fork lift truck operated by a David Cover and Son Ltd (Covers) employee. The timber was on top of a series of steel metal posts acting as bearers.

‘After the timber had been unloaded by a fork lift truck, Mr Gassor got out of his cab and started to stow away under the lorry, the bearers on which the timber had been placed.

‘While he was doing this, the fork lift truck returned and its Cover’s driver passed over paperwork. Mr Gassor then returned to stowing the bearers.

‘As the fork lift truck pulled away, its rear swung out and crushed Mr Gassor’s hand against a part-stowed bearer.’

Covers admitted a breach of section 3 of The Health and Safety at Work Act.

Brighton magistrates heard the firm had a good safety record prior to this incident and have worked to improve safety.