Lincolnshire pipework company fined £20k for work accident

One Lincolnshire based pipework company was recently slapped with a £20,000 fine for their part in the injury claims of a worker who became seriously injured in an accident involving a forklift truck.

According to the unnamed worker’s work accident claim, the man had been working at the Horncastle site of Polypipe Ltd atop a fourteen foot lorry when the incident occurred.

Both the anonymous worker and a colleague had been in a cage that had been placed upon the forklift truck’s forks.  However as both workers were being lowered to the ground the cage began to slip, and the worker was struck by the vehicle’s forks as the operator endeavoured to halt the fall of the cage.

The unnamed worker was rushed to hospital following the incident where he was diagnosed with several broken ribs.  According to the details of his accident claim, he was unable to return to his job until he had spent three weeks in convalescence.

The Health and Safety Executive launched a successful prosecution of Polypipe Ltd.  The firm entered a plea of guilty to being in breach of Work at Height Regulations in Magistrates’ Court and was assessed a fine of £20,000.  The courts also ordered the pipework company to pay £4,765 in costs.  Additionally the unnamed worker received a personal injury compensation award of £5,000 for his injuries.

A spokesperson from Polypipe said that ‘equipment, a system of work, and training had been provided, which we believed to be the safest option at the time, and had they been used, they would have prevented this particular accident. However, with the benefit of hindsight, we completely accept the HSE’s findings that these provisions were imperfect, and we have taken on board the HSE’s recommendations on safe working at heights, and strive to continually improve health and safety on our sites’.

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