A major accident at Palletways (UK) Ltd involving a forklift operator highlighted the negligence of the management in risk assessment and in providing essential emergency training to personnel.
Mr.Hill, the forklift operator was loading a computer cabinet on to a trailer when he noticed it was wobbling. Hoping to catch it, he jumped down but it toppled forward and caught him on his head, knocking him down. He was bleeding in the head when the depot manager took him along in search of the first aid team whom he did not even know, when he could have left him in the care of his colleagues. Later the first aid unit drove him by car to the hospital without properly assessing the extent of his injuries.
He would have been better off if he had been attended to by paramedics in an emergency ambulance. He had to be airlifted to Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham where finally he was treated. Lack of proper management of this emergency left him partially disabled.
When investigating the accident at Palletways (UK) Ltd, Fradley Distribution Park, HSE inspectors confirmed that it was due to gross negligence on the part of the management to perform risk assessment of loading operations and also their lapse in providing training to personnel to tackle emergencies such as this. The incompetence of the depot manager and the first aid men were brought to light in the investigations.
The case was heard by Stafford Crown Court but Mr. Hill has not been able to work since the accident on the fatal day on 22nd August 2008.