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A wood supplier has been fined £730,000 after a driver of a sideloader forklift truck hit two workers at its timber yard in Cradley Heath in the West Midlands.

The employees of Palmer Timber were walking across the yard on 23 February 2015 when the accident happened. One worker sustained multiple serious injuries, including a fractured eye socket and collar bone, a severed thumb, damage to his tongue and broken bones, and needed skin grafts.

The HSE found Palmer Timber had failed to ensure pedestrians and vehicles could move safely around the workplace.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching reg 4, by virtue of reg 17, of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, which covers the organisation of traffic routes. It was fined at Wolverhampton Crown Court and ordered to pay £13,845 costs.

HSE inspector Richard Littlefair said: “This incident could have been much worse with the potential for fatal injuries. There were reasonably practicable measures which should have been place to allow for vehicles and pedestrians to circulate in a safe manner.”

Source – IOSH

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