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A haulage worker from North Wales could launch a compensation claim against his former employer after a forklift truck accident at work.
Judges at Llandudno Magistrates Court heard yesterday that an unnamed employee was asked by his bosses to repair a tear in the curtain of a lorry trailer unit.
However, adequate equipment to do this was not present, so he climbed on top of a wooden pallet that was raised off the ground by a forklift truck, which was operated by one of his colleagues.
When he had finished, the man asked for the other worker to lower him back down, but the machine lurched backwards quickly and sent him tumbling from the pallet.
The employee was rushed to hospital, where it was found by doctors that he had serious fractures to both of his heels, causing him an extended leave of absence from work and mobility difficulties.
A subsequent investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that not enough planning into the repairs was done by bosses and suitable equipment was not given to staff by executives.
It was also discovered that monitoring and supervision of employees at LE Jones was generally poor, with managers failing to check on what workers were doing.
These failures led the firm to plead guilty of breaching acts 4(1), 5 and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and it was fined an amount totalling £15,000 with costs of £4,041.
Speaking after the successful prosecution, HSE inspector Dave Wynne said: "This entirely preventable incident could have caused much more serious or even life-changing injuries.
"The company could have provided a permanent gantry or a cherry-picker for routine repairs on its quite large road fleet. Work at height must be properly planned and organised by a competent person."
The inspector also said the prosecution would send a message to companies that encourage employees to use improvised platforms.
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