Health and safety error proves costly

A packaging firm has been hit hard in the pocket after a worker suffered serious head injuries when the fork of a forklift truck struck him on the forehead.
Saica Pack UK Ltd of Queensway, Hartlepool, was fined along with the worker’s former employer MD Engineering Services (UK) Ltd after both firms admitted breaching health and safety regulations.
Jim McGowan, 66, of Felling, Gateshead, was employed by MD when the incident happened in December 2010 at Saica’s facility. Mr McGowan was helping to remove redundant machinery when he suffered a double fracture to the skull, facial fractures and a fractured eye socket when he was struck on the head by the fork.
Saica was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £5,489.40 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. MD Ltd was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £4,600 in costs. HSE Inspector Victoria Wise said the incident highlights the importance of ensuring that lifting operations are managed by a competent person.