A Lancashire haulage company was prosecuted and fined £30,000 after a mechanic died while repairing a forklift truck.

E. Jackson (Chatburn) in Clitheroe pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act when it appeared at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on 11 April.

Joseph Robinson, 39, was working with a new employee as they attempted to fix a steering fault on a forklift truck during the incident in October 2020.

He requested that the employee move the vehicle forwards, but instead the forklift reversed and trapped the mechanic against a trailer.

Robinson was taken to hospital with severe head injuries and placed in an induced coma; however, he died the following day.

His body was taken for organ donation, with a total of eight individuals receiving his donated organs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the forklift truck was over 30-years-old and had not been maintained nor subjected to examination for some years. No principles of working with vehicles at the site had been put in place such as designating a safe repair area or separating pedestrians and vehicles.

In her victim personal statement, Robinson’s mother Sue Robinson said: “Joe was a much-loved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. He was a hero in our eyes, honest, hardworking, loyal and generous of spirit as evidenced by his request that in the event of his death that his organs be donated.

“As his parents, we have always been and always will be so very proud of the boy he was and the man he became, we grieve for him profoundly and miss him in every way each and every day.”

HSE inspector Shellie Bee said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided. The employer had not maintained the forklift truck in a suitable working condition and had allowed an untrained employee to operate it.

“This, together with an inappropriate system to fix a fault on the machine, meant that the truck and Joseph Robinson were in close proximity when it moved in a direction he had not anticipated.

“As a result Joseph tragically lost his life.”