• Robert Spicer

Workplace death of 19 year old: employer fined £450,000

Forklift truck death: £450,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Vinyl Compound Ltd (2017) Manchester Crown Court, September 4

Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974 (HSWA) and regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWA).

The facts

· In February 2015 Ben Pallier-Singleton, a 19-year old employee of Vinyl Compound Ltd, was working at the company’s site in Chinley, Derbyshire.

· He drove a forklift truck at night down a sloping roadway. The truck overturned and he suffered fatal injuries.

· The deceased had not been adequately trained, nor was he wearing a seatbelt.

· The company had not informed workers of the speed limit on site, had not put measures in place to control the speed of vehicles and failed to have adequate lighting and edge protection to avoid the risk of forklift trucks overturning.

The decision

The company was fined £450,000 plus £71,000 costs under s.2 of HSWA and regulation 3 of MHSWA.

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