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Firm Sentenced after Worker Sustains Leg Injury

A company in Aberdeen has been fined for safety failings after a worker was injured when a forklift truck ran over his leg and foot.

Mr Bonnar was working with three other colleagues to pressure-wash naturally-occurring radioactive material from components in two large wash bays, both in a restricted zone on site.

At one stage Mr Bonnar was working alone cleaning down one of the bays when a colleague returned driving a forklift truck. While the driver reversed the forklift and then moved forward to load components, Mr Bonnar was walking backwards while hosing down the next bay. The truck collided with Mr Bonnar, driving over his left leg and right foot.

He suffered a broken leg and fractures to his foot as a result of the incident, and had to spend a week in hospital and a further seven weeks in a wheelchair. Fortunately, he has since been able to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to provide sufficient segregation between pedestrians and vehicles in the restricted zone. It also failed to provide sufficient instructions to control vehicle movements in the area while pedestrians were working.

The company was fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992.

“The dangers associated with vehicle movements around pedestrians are well-known,” explained HSE Inspector Sarah Forbes. “Every year there are over 5,000 incidents involving transport in the workplace. About 50 of these result in people being killed.”

“This incident was entirely avoidable,” she added. “Instead Mr Bonnar was left with a painful injury, and needed several months to recover.”

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