Pallet Trucks UK has urged firms using forklifts to guarantee the safety of their workers, after two businesses were recently fined for the deaths of two of their employees

Derbyshire-based firm Vinyl Compound Ltd was fined £450,000 earlier this month after 19-year old forklift driver Ben Pallier-Singleton was crushed to death in 2015.

A £300,000 fine was also levelled at Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres Ltd in Grantham this month after forklift driver Stephen Woollas was killed in October 2014.

Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Trucks UK, said: “The fact that the deaths of these two employees could have been avoided by enforcing proper safety regulations makes them even more terrible for everyone involved, and should serve as a reminder to all firms using forklifts to enforce proper safety procedures.

“A young man with his life ahead of him and a father with a child has died because of a lack of care to worker safety. These enormous fines, £450,000 and £300,000 respectively, will have a detrimental effect on the two companies; I urge any business using a forklift or who buys our forklift products to consider their procedures and training.”

Singleton was found to have not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of his death, hadn’t been told about the on-site speed limits and hadn’t been trained properly to use a forklift.

Woollas died because the requirement for him to reverse his forklift in wasn’t enforced, and as a result of this he drove over a tyre which toppled his forklift and crushed him to death.

Chesworth added: “Aside from procedure and training, it’s also vital that drivers are equipped with the right length of fork extensions for the job; lifting a load weighing multiple tonnes with forks that are too short could also result in the vehicle and the load toppling over.”

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