A garment printing specialist has been fined £40,000 after a delivery driver was badly injured by a forklift truck at its premises.
The incident occurred on 25 March 2022 at T. Print Ltd’s factory in Blackpool.
Self-employed delivery driver Andrew ‘John’ Robinson suffered multiple leg fractures and a dislocated ankle when a forklift reversed into him while he was delivering goods to the company, which specialises in garment embellishing.
T. Print’s services include screen printing, direct-to-garment printing, transfer printing and embroidery.
Robinson’s injuries required him to be airlifted and he spent a whole month in the hospital.
He’s had to undergo multiple follow-up surgeries and is still not fully recovered to be able return to work.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found T. Print had failed to ensure that there were adequate measures in place to ensure the safe segregation of delivery drivers from the unloading and loading activities.
Robinson was not told to wait or stand in a safe place during the unloading his vehicle.
YouTube has uploaded CCTV footage from the incident.
Video of the collision
“The dangers should have been identified by a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks,” HSE stated.
HSE inspector Matthew Shepherd commented: “The company had failed to implement a safe system of work for its loading and unloading activities thereby exposing delivery drivers, such as Mr Robinson, to the risk of being struck by the forklift truck conducting the unloading operation. Mr Robinson suffered serious injuries that have affected his life.
“All work settings that use forklift trucks to load or unload goods, need to consider the risks arising from their use and implement adequate segregation controls to ensure the safety of pedestrians, such as delivery drivers, during these activities.”
In a harrowing statement presented to court, Robinson said: “Sometimes I wish that I had lost my legs instead, as I have had enough of the pain.”
He stated: “During the incident I sustained serious injuries to both of my legs. I’ve had six operations in the past year, including skin and bone grafts.
“I am still not allowed to weight bear on one of my ankles and have no freedom currently due to my injuries; I cannot drive, and my mobility is limited. I live in an apartment on the first floor but cannot manage the stairs without help. Before, I was a strong independent man, but the incident and slow recovery has taken a toll on my mental health.”
At a hearing held at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court last week, T. Print pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,696.95.
HSE’s website contains information about safe lift truck operation. Lift trucks are responsible for about one quarter of all accidents involving workplace transport.