Devon farming business fined after safety failings

A farming business in north Devon has been fined after a number of safety failings led to an employee fracturing his skull when he fell from a prong of a forklift truck.

Richard Robinson, 64, was attempting to crush recycled material when the fall occurred, resulting in a fractured skull.

Barstaple Magistrates’ Court heard that the workers at the facility had developed their own system of working which involved being lifted by forklift trucks and climbing into large bags of recycled material that were suspended in the air.

His employer, WJ Watkins and Son Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for allowing dangerous working practices. The company was fined GBP 6,000 and ordered to pay costs of GBP 1,226.

The company did not provide any fixed alternative methods for the workmen to reach the bags in a safe and controlled manner.

Following the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector, Simon Jones, said: “Working at height must be properly planned and supervised, and employers must ensure their staff have a safe system in place to prevent further incidents of this kind.”

Posted by Wayne WeirADNFCR-2070-ID-801356134-ADNFCR

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