Shortcuts on training cost money and lives – RTITB warning06 May 2014

The RTITB is urging businesses not to take shortcuts on workplace transport training, after a company was ordered to pay £28,000 last month following an incident when a forklift truck overturned on an agency driver, resulting in serious injury.

The 27-year-old driver was moving the forklift with a clamp attachment in a raised position at Suffolk-based Murfitts Industries in September 2012. It overturned and crushed him; he is now on permanent antiobiotics after his spleen had to be removed.

Bury St Edmunds magistrates' court heard the injured worker – who was employed via an agency – had not received any formal training and was not wearing a seatbelt.

Murfitts had previously received enforcement action from HSE concerning its management of workplace transport, and as a result had provided training to its own staff, but had not extended this to agency workers.

The company was fined £17,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,985 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998.

RTITB accredits training organisations and says an outlay of around £450 could have prevented this cost, to both the company and the driver.

Laura Cork

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