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Company fined over €90k after worker run over by forklift

A judge has ordered a seafood processing company to pay over £80,000 (over €93,000) after a worker died following injuries she sustained when she was run over by a forklift.

QA Fish Ltd, Blacksness Pier, Shetland, appeared before Lerwick Sheriff Court in connection with the case in recent days.

On January 31st, 2018, Karen Allen, an employee of QA Fish, Ltd suffered “significant” leg injuries as a pedestrian, following a vehicular collision in Scalloway, Shetland.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Police Scotland-led investigation found that the firm had not carried out any site-specific workplace transport risk assessment.

The court heard that the use of the forklift truck was “critical” for the function of the business.

Furthermore, the company failed to provide suitable and sufficient control measures to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles could “circulate in a safe manner” in the exterior of the premises, particularly with regards to the forklift truck.

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The company failed to implement “effective” arrangements for the management of health and safety.

Moreover, it failed to act on a health and safety consultant’s advice several years prior to the incident.

QA Fish Ltd. pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Moreover, it will have to pay the fine within the next 12 months.

‘Properly addressed and adequately controlled’

HSE inspector, Connor Gibson, said that the “tragic” outcome of this incident “clearly” highlights why duty holders must ensure that vehicle and pedestrian movements at their work site are “properly assessed and adequately controlled”.

“This fatal incident could and should have been prevented via suitable and sufficient control measures segregating pedestrians from vehicle movements,” he said.

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