- 9 July 2020
- Transport / Logistics Services
Parcels firm DX Networks has been fined £200,000 for a breach of Health and Safety where a worker lost a leg after being hit by a forklift truck in a Glasgow warehouse.
In 2018 while moving items from a sorting area to a pallet Les More was hit by a reversing forklift truck in the Eurocentral warehouse and was rushed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where the decision was taken to amputate his leg above the knee.
Hamilton Sheriff Douglas Brown said that the incident was ‘clearly foreseeable’. In his judgement he said that there had been a ‘systemic failure’ to separate pedestrians and forklifts at the DX Networks Eurocentral depot.
DX Networks admitted breaching health and safety laws.
Prosecutor Neil Thomson said, “His left leg had to be amputated above the knee and he underwent four skin graft surgeries on his lower right leg.
“He continues to receive physiotherapy and counselling.
“His wife has had to give up her job to become his full time carer and their home has been modified so he can continue to live there.”
The fiscal explained: “Initially the driver thought he’d hit a piece of wood. He realised he’d run over someone only when he heard shouts from other operatives.”
Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive found that there was no rule stopping forklifts from crossing a marked pedestrian walkway in the warehouse. DX Networks initially blamed Moore and the forklift driver for the accident taking place.
But Mr Thomson stated: “Operatives were crossing back and forth constantly between the sorting area and 17 bays, as were forklifts.
“They were moving in all directions, often carrying large items that had the potential to limit visibility.
“There was no priority given to separating pedestrians and vehicles. That failure is at the root of this incident.”
DX Networks has taken remedial action to prevent such incidents again.
Advocate Barry Smith admitted: “There was perhaps an over-reliance on staff avoiding the risk of collisions by paying attention.
“Company safety policy is now designed to pervade every aspect of the business.”
DX Networks, which has a turnover of more than £300 million annually, has a year to pay the £200,000 fine. The Sheriff reduced the fine from £300,000 thanks to the company admitting fault.