FedEx UK

Parcel carrier FedEx UK has been fined over £500,000 after failing to ensure safe pedestrian access in the workplace which resulted in an employee being seriously injured by a reversing forklift truck.

Cannock Magistrates’ Court heard that in the early morning of 2 November 2017, an employee was walking across the depot at Burntwood Business Park, near Cannock, Staffordshire when he was struck by a reversing forklift truck.

The worker was trapped on the ground by the forklift truck and had to be freed by colleagues using a pallet truck. He suffered serious fractures to his arm and soft tissue injuries to his legs and was off work for several months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was inadequate segregation of forklift trucks and pedestrians within the workplace.

A risk assessment had been carried out but had not identified the importance of achieving robust segregation in an area where frequent forklift truck movements took place.

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Fedex UK Ltd of Express House, Holly Lane, Atherstone pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £533,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,033.39.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to provide safe methods of working and a safe working environment. Collisions between vehicles and pedestrians can be avoided if the workplace layout is properly planned, effectively segregated and suitable systems of work are introduced.

"If physical barriers and a suitable system of work had been in place the injuries sustained by this employee could have been prevented.”