Two companies based in the North East of England have been prosecuted and fined, after an employee was struck on the head by the forks of a forklift truck.
Sixty six year old Jim McGowan, from Felling, in Gateshead, was working for MD Engineering Services (UK) Ltd and was working along with a colleague, removing machines and equipment from Hartlepool based company SAICA Pack UK Ltd.
Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, was told that Mr. McGowan was working on a mezzanine platform and was about to attach a lifting sling to the forks of the forklift, which was being operated by his colleague, so a piece of equipment could be removed.
However as the forklift driver raised the forks, one of them got caught on the stop bracket of a gate leading to the mezzanine, unaware of this the driver continued raising the forks until the bracket sheared and forced the right hand fork of the forklift to spring upwards, striking Mr. McGowan in the head.
Mr. McGowan suffered serious head injuries in the accident, including two skull fractures and a fractured eye socket, his injuries were so severe that he has been forced to retire.
Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive SAICA Pack UK Ltd, of Eastmount Road, in Darlington was fined £13,000 and MD Engineering Services (UK) Ltd, of Houghton-le-Spring was fined £4,000 after admitting breaching health and safety regulations.