NEWS: Howden Joinery fined £1.2m after driver crushed by overloaded forklift

A kitchen fitting company has been fined £1.2m after an agency worker was killed when a forklift truck overturned and crushed him.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how HGV driver, Richard Brown, had been delivering kitchen worktops to Howden Joinery’s Workington depot when the incident happened on 10 November 2014.

The forklift truck overturned while he lifted the kitchen worktops from the trailer of the HGV, fatally crushing him.

HSE’s investigation found the FLT had been overloaded. The load's combined weight had been 2.2 tonnes, 42 per cent over the maximum operational capacity of the fork lift truck - 1,520kg - according to reports in Hull Daily Mail.

The court also heard that visiting delivery drivers had also not been kept at a safe distance from the loading and unloading operations.

Investigating HSE inspector Steven Boyd said after the hearing on 22 November: “Standing too close to where loading or unloading work is being carried out can put people in harm’s way so people, such as delivery drivers, should be in a position of safety when forklift trucks are operating.

“This tragic incident could have been avoided if Howden Joinery Ltd had implemented a safe procedure to ensure that pedestrians were kept at a safe distance during loading and unloading work.”

Howden Joinery Ltd of Portman Square, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £33,902.00.