Worker crushed after untrained worker allowed to drive forklift

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A mechanic was killed after a forklift truck he was trying to fix reversed into and crushed him, Crewe Magistrates Court heard.

Joseph Robinson, who worked for road haulier, E. Jackson (Chatburn) Limited, was attempting to fix a steering fault on a forklift truck with the help of a new employee at Salthill Industrial Estate in Clitheroe, Lancashire on 13 October 2020.

Mr Robinson, 39, told the new employee, who was driving the forklift truck, to move the vehicle forwards.

It reversed and trapped Mr Robinson against a trailer, causing him severe head injuries. He died the following day.

The forklift which Joseph Robinson was repairing. Photograph: HSE

An HSE investigation found that the forklift truck was over 30-years-old. It had not been maintained or had its Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) examination for ‘some years’.

Investigating 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.

“As a result Joseph tragically lost his life. Employers should ensure they carry out an assessment of the risks created by forklifts and ensure safe systems of work for their safe operation and maintenance are followed.”
E. Jackson (Chatburn) Limited was fined £30,000 for breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

His mother, Sue Robinson, said: “Joe was a much-loved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. Joe was always going to be a mechanic. As a little boy he loved to take things apart, see how they worked and put them back together, so on leaving school that was the profession that he chose to follow.

“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.”