one of Crescent's forklifts

Uxbridge builders’ merchant fined after forklift accident

Published:  09 December, 2019

Crescent Building Supplies has been fined £60,000 after a lorry driver suffered serious injuries at its Longbridge Way branch in 2017.

In addition of the fine, the Magistrates’ Court ordered the merchant to pay £22,015.14 in costs, as well as a victim surcharge of £150.

On 6 April 2017, a lorry driver was delivering a load of timber decking boards to Crescent Building Supplies Limited at their branch in Longbridge Way, Uxbridge.

A forklift truck, being used by an employee of Crescent Building Supplies to unload the wood, tipped forward under the weight of the load, causing the wood to topple and trap the lorry driver.

The lorry driver sustained serious and long-term injuries to his shoulders, back, hip and leg, some of which required surgery.

Investigation by the Hillingdon Council's environmental health team, who brought the prosecution, found that the weight of the decking under which the driver was crushed - approximately 3 tonnes - exceeded the safe lifting capacity of both forklift trucks on site.

There was no evidence that anyone at the company had attempted to work out the weight of the load, either at the point of ordering the decking or prior to unloading it. As a result, the firm could not have known whether or not the forklift trucks had the capacity to unload the wood safely.

The company, which is owned by the Grafton Group, admitted breaching health and safety regulations prior to the judgement last week.

Councillor Douglas Mills, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration, commented on the judgment: “Sadly on this occasion this company’s safety procedures failed and this resulted in serious and life-changing injuries for this poor man.

"There cannot be a more powerful reminder of the need to stick to the law. We will never hesitate to prosecute in circumstances like this."

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