A Co Antrim fertiliser retailer was today sentenced at Antrim Crown Court after a member of the public received life changing injuries to his right leg.
Richard Boyland, trading as North Antrim Potatoes, was fined £5,000 for a health and safety offence after the member of the public had his leg trapped between a forklift truck and the rear of a lorry during an unloading operation.
Antrim Crown Court heard how the injured man, who was passing the business premises in his vehicle, had stopped to offer assistance to Richard Boyland whose fork lift truck had become trapped during unloading of fertiliser bags from a flatbed delivery lorry.
The recovery operation of the fork lift truck involved the lift truck being towed by the lorry from the grass verge unto the public road. During the operation the fork lift truck, driven by Richard Boyland, struck the member of the public who sustained very serious and life changing injuries to his right leg after it became trapped between the lift truck and rear of the lorry.
A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) into the incident, which occurred on 13th February 2017, found that Richard Boyland had failed to ensure the safety of somebody who was not an employee but rather a member of the public who had simply stopped to offer assistance.
In addition, Mr Boyland had not completed any approved training in relation to the operation of fork lift trucks.
HSENI Inspector Kyle Carrick said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of an employer to adequately manage and communicate the risks of an unplanned work activity.
“When deliveries and collections are made, loading and unloading areas should be in designated places with sufficient space, clear of passing traffic, pedestrians and other people who are not involved in loading and unloading.
“Members of the public are unlikely to be familiar with workplace hazards and should always be kept separate from hazardous work activities.”