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A Preston worker was lucky to escape with his life after being crushed by a 400 kg bale of plastic.
Preston Magistrates' Court heard that an unnamed 26-year-old working for Preston Plastics was seriously injured after being asked to lift up two objects from a stack by using a forklift truck.
This is commonly known as unsafe practice, but was sanctioned by the company anyway and it was discovered by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that the recycling organisation had failed to properly plan a safe system of work for its employees.
As the 26-year-old shifted the bales, the top one toppled from the forklift and struck the worker, who suffered a spinal injury and needed to stay in a back brace while it healed.
Because of its failure to properly plan a safe system of work, Preston Plastics pleaded guilty to a breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,533 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Rohan Lye said: "The employee at Preston Plastics was badly injured when he was struck by the 400 kg bale, but his injuries could easily have been fatal."
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