A MAYONNAISE company has been fined £140,000 after ‘chaotic’ safety failings saw a forklift truck driver crushed by a reversing lorry when loading tubs of mayonnaise.
AAK UK Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the failings lead to the death of Warrington man Michael Moran.
The Hull-based business was fined at Liverpool Crown Court today, Thursday, for its ‘chaotic and dangerous system’.
Mr Moran, aged 49, had been loading pallets containing tubs of mayonnaise onto the trailer when his forklift truck was struck by the lorry, killing him instantly.
The incident happened at AAK UK’s Runcorn factory on the Astmoor Industrial Estate on April 18, 2011.
It pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The court heard vehicles regularly visited the site with deliveries or to pick up loads of mayonnaise to distribute, with most reversing down Davy Road to avoid having to turn around in the cul-de-sac.
Investigators found the company had not carried out an adequate assessment of the risks to its employees.
Drivers were also not given any information, instruction or training on how to load the lorry trailers safely, and there was poor supervision.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Deborah Walker said: “Our investigation revealed a chaotic and dangerous system, and sadly it was entirely foreseeable that someone was at risk of being badly injured or killed.
“Neither Mr Moran nor the lorry driver had any way of knowing they were both about to start operating their vehicles, and sadly Mr Moran did not have time to get out of the way when the HGV began to reverse.
“Following the incident, the company created a no-parking zone along the ‘Goods Out’ area by Davy Road which means there is now space for forklift truck drivers to load trailers without having to come out into the road.
“The firm also set up a booking-in system for vehicles delivering to the factory.
“If these simple measures had been in place at the time of the incident then Mr Moran’s tragic death could have been avoided.”