A 29-year-old man from Tyldesley, who has asked not to be named, could have been killed when he fell off a forklift truck in Leigh while trying to climb onto its roof, a court has heard.
The man struck his head on the ground and was knocked unconscious for several minutes in the incident at Moss Industrial Estate on St Helens Road in Leigh. His employer, Serviceplan Contracts Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to make sure the work was planned,
supervised and carried out safely.
The worker had been trying to climb on the roof of the forklift to carry out work to the lifting equipment on 3 August 2010. He suffered severe headaches, a painful swelling to his head, and was off work for one week as a result of the fall.
The HSE investigation found it was common practice for Serviceplan’s employees to service the lifting mast and chains on a forklift truck by climbing on top of it. However, they should have been given a stepladder or mobile steps to use to reach the equipment safely. Some of the work could also have been carried out from the ground.
Serviceplan Contracts Ltd admitted breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in prosecution costs.
After the hearing, Emily Osborne, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:
“One of Serviceplan’s employees was knocked unconscious and suffered a head injury as a result of the fall but it could have been a lot worse – possibly even fatal. He had been trained to carry out the work by standing on the roof of the forklift truck, despite there being a serious risk of him being injured in a fall. But Serviceplan simply hadn’t considered the potential dangers of working at height in this way. Workers face being seriously injured if they fall just a few feet. It’s therefore vital that companies plan work at height, supervise it appropriately and carry it out safely with the appropriate equipment.”
from 1st October the National Minimum Wage increases as follows:
- the adult rate increases to £6.08 an hour
- the rate for 18-20 year olds increase to £4.98 an hour
- the rate for 16-17 year olds increases to £3.68 an hour
- the rate for apprentices increases to £2.60 an hour.
More information is available on the Business Link website.
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The Agency Workers Regulations came into force on 1st October 2010, and have significant implications for employers. The primary purpose of the Regulations is to ensure that, after a 12 week waiting period, an agency worker is entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as if they had been directly recruited by the hirer. However, there are also rights from day 1 which provide for equal access to collective facilities e.g. car parking, crèche etc. This also includes access to vacancies.
Key provisions in the Regulations include:
• agency workers will be entitled to equal treatment as permanent staff in relation to basic working and employment conditions, including pay and holidays,
• agency workers rights to pay will not only apply to the basic hourly rate, but to pay for work done, including bonuses which are directly related to agency workers’ personal performance,
• the rights do not extend to some wider benefits enjoyed by permanent staff, such as sick pay and occupational pensions,
• penalties for employers trying to avoid implementing equal treatment – anti-avoidance rules.
The Regulations are not straightforward and, if you use, or intend to use, agency workers, then it is advisable to download government guidance at http://bit.ly/kOASJN
Should you require further assistance please contact Sue at Plus Safety on tel. 0845 5197061, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Note. While every care has been taken in compiling these notes, Plus Safety cannot be held responsible for the any errors or omissions; the notes are not intended to be substitute for specific legal advice