Need To Train

Need To Train

Need To Train

Health and Safety in the workplace is paramount. Investing in professional training is money well spent. With the knowledge that having received this training, your company is now compliant with HSE Regulations and Recommendations. Associated benefits can also mean minimised risk to workplace incidents and accidents, as well as less equipment damage, lower insurance premiums, lower legal costs, higher productivity and not forgetting less waste and damaged stock.


The need for professional training for lift truck operators is pressing, every year there are about 8000 reportable injuries involving lift trucks, these injuries, some fatal, create suffering for those involved and their dependants. They also involve a heavy cost to the employers. Scroll down to read case studies associated with accidents in the work place.


Lift truck accidents are frequently associated with lack of suitable and sufficient operator training. Such training is an essential first step in reducing damage and injury.


The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) state that under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 under Regulation 9 – Training:
Every employer should ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken.

More information can be found by visiting


At Ribble Valley Training Centre we can offer training and instruction for operators, supervisors and managers from our qualified instructors.


Instructor Training courses are also available for companies who require the need for an in-house instructor or for individuals who wish to work as lift truck instructors.


We offer a number of courses both on site. Each course is designed to meet existing and proposed legislation in the training of operators.


As many companies operate shift working hours, we offer flexible courses to suit your business needs. See what courses Ribble Valley Training Centre can offer you. Please contact us for more information and a detailed quote.

Case Studies


The following case studies have been taken from the HSE Workplace Transport Safety ‘An Employers Guide’ booklet – HSG 136.
More relevant legislation can be found in the following publications, all available by visiting




Company director’s contractors and management could face prosecution under the new manslaughter rules if employees or members of the public are killed at a workplace or on a site.


Jail sentences could be imposed under two new offences.


Directors managers contractor’s employees who send others to carry out work activity knowing that there is serious danger to employee’s and the employee is killed as a result could be JAILED for reckless killing.


There appears to be some confusion within certain companies regarding the need to train operators on various types of industrial trucks.


The fact is paragraph 7 of the ACOP code does clearly identify that it is a general duty of the employer to provide training UNDER SECTION 2 OF THE HSW ACT to all operators of all types of machines.


It is a legal requirement to train all operators on all types of machines they are required to use.


An elderly shopper was crushed to death by a lift truck at a DIY store.
During prosecution, the firm claimed that the day of the accident was an isolated incident and control of lift truck movements at the store did not comply with the company’s own guidelines. However, CCTV tapes seized during the investigation showed that lift trucks were used in public areas of the store on a number of occasions during the six months prior to the accident, and in a manner unsuitable for public areas.
The prosecution was successful, and the firm was fined £550 000 with £250 000 costs.




In what is thought to be the largest ever penalty for a health and safety prosecution brought by a local authority – and the fourth biggest ever safety fine, the supermarket giant Sainsbury’s was fined a massive £425,000.00. The fine was levied after the food store admitted deliberately disconnecting safety mechanisms which directly resulted in the death of an employee. Winchester Crown Court heard that a worker died when he was crushed by a forklift truck which had its safety cut off switch deliberately disconnected. Sentencing Sainsbury’s Judge Kay said “The story is a picture of working procedures that date back to the dark ages.


A company was fined a total of £20 000 after a reversing vehicle at its site killed a delivery driver.
The driver was delivering goods when the accident happened. Standing by the side of his lorry after overseeing the removal of its load, he was struck by a reversing lift truck. He died instantly.
The company had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment for the movement of loads at the site. This would have shown the need for lift trucks to avoid reversing for long distances, and that drivers should be removed from the danger area. They should have installed suitable barriers to prevent pedestrians gaining access to areas where vehicles were working, and established a formal system for supervising site visitors.
It had also become common practice for heavy goods vehicles to reverse onto the site from the public highway, putting pedestrians at further risk of being struck by vehicles.
Since the death, the company has issued health and safety guidelines to all visitors and has improved the supervision of vehicle and pedestrian movements on site.




A Sheffield engineering company has been fined £96,000 after a works forklift driver lost his leg when his faulty truck toppled on him.


Aged 26 tried to leap clear of the falling truck but was pinned to the floor by his ankle by the 4-tonne weight.


Sheffield magistrates heard that the boss at ….. knew the truck had faulty braked. The company admitted three charges of failing to train …. Properly, failing to maintain the truck, failing to report a previous accident. Despite engineers’ advice to stop using the truck. The truck was kept in service.


Needed 3 operations on his crushed foot and now has a false left leg from his knee down.


A food-factory dispatch clerk was killed instantly when she was knocked down and run over by the bucket of a 15-tonne loading shovel.
Risk assessments failed to identify workplace transport issues adequately. It was regular practice for staff to walk across a warehouse where the loading shovel was operating, and no measures were put in place to prevent this.
The judge identified ‘fundamental flaws of the management’ and the firm was fined £400 000 following a prosecution.




A tragic accident occurred at a warehouse in STRATFORD UPON AVON


When a young lad was killed as his farther drove a forklift truck at work.


12 year old was being given a ride on the machine by his farther on a Saturday morning. It appears that he leaned outside the body of the truck and struck a support column causing massive head injuries and killing him instantly.






Magistrates in CARMARTHEN fined a forklift operator £50,000 and Jailed him for 4 years for seriously injuring a fellow worker whilst operating a fork lift at work.


….. was operating a forklift truck at a company in Johnston when he ran over the feet of his work mate, as a result of which one foot had to be amputated.


An employee received fatal injuries when he was crushed between the mast and the top of the overhead guard of an industrial counterbalance lift truck.
He accidentally operated the mast tilt with his boot as he climbed onto the dashboard to wrap plastic film over the overhead structure to protect himself from heavy rain. The lift truck engine had been left on and handbrake off.
Although eight lift truck drivers worked for the firm, several had not had refresher training for many years, and two had received no training at all. The use of cling film for weather protection was common, as was the fitting of wood or metal covers on lift trucks.
The truck was mainly used outside, but the company had not assessed the need for a cover. Appropriate weatherproofing should have been fitted; access to the bulkhead should have been restricted and accidental use of the controls prevented by fitting a transparent half-screen.
The firm was prosecuted and fined £5000 with £3000 costs.


A shunt driver fell from a lorry cab because of a faulty door. He hit his head on a concrete floor at his company’s depot and died some days later from his injuries.
The company had failed to deal with the faulty handle because of a ‘systemic failure’ in the company’s vehicle checks. The shunt vehicles were treated as low priority for repairs and maintenance, and vehicle servicing was often late.
The company was fined £150 000 and ordered to pay £21 000 in costs. Since the accident, new vehicles have been bought and maintenance improved.


Worker Seriously Injured on First Day Due to Insufficient Lift Truck Training


Need To Train


An agency worker sustained serious, life changing injuries following a lift truck incident on his first day at work. On 18th May 2017, the 27-year-old worker arrived for his first day at work for H & M Distribution Limited in Cheltenham, as a multi drop delivery driver. After receiving a brief induction, the driver went on to successfully make his first drop. When attempting to make his second delivery, he found that the address he had been provided with was incorrect, meaning he was unable to deliver a consignment of 12 beer kegs. During his next delivery, the worker used a pallet truck located in the back of his lorry to manoeuvre the 12 beer kegs, which were blocking access to the next load on his list.


The courts heard how it was during this manoeuvre that the worker fell backwards off the raised tail lift and fell to the ground, several kegs fell from the back of the lorry, landing on top of the driver. He suffered serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury and facial fractures, and was required to have metal plates inserted into his skull after the incident.


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the agency worker had no previous experience of operating a tail lift or pallet truck similar to the ones involved in the incident. Before undertaking any work, he was not made aware of how to operate a pallet truck on a tail lift and no practical training in the safe use of the machinery was given. HSE stated that as an employer, H & M Distribution failed to carry out competence training and look into previous experience of the agency worker.Due to these failures and insufficient training given, H & M Distribution Limited of Newton Le Willows, Warrington pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the HSWA 1974. They received a fine of £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,203.14. Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Berenice Ray, said: “Employers who use agency workers or contractors have a responsibility to firstly establish the workers’ competence, taking into account their level of experience and familiarity with the work and work equipment, and then provide the appropriate level of training to ensure the work is done safely. If appropriate training had been provided, the life-changing injuries sustained by the agency worker could have been prevented.”


A bus driver was run over and killed by a double-decker bus while he walking across the depot yard.
It was dark and raining, and the driver had just parked his bus. The company had not controlled the risks that resulted from vehicle movement in the yard. They failed to segregate vehicles and pedestrians, had not provided suitable signs and road markings, and the lighting was poor.
The bus company were prosecuted and fined
£50 000 with £15 000 costs.


Worker killed by forklift truck


Need To Train


Leeds-based, Woodlands Homecare Ltd, has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was killed by a forklift. Andrew Hanshaw, age 44, died after being struck by a side loader forklift truck.

At the shed manufacturing company in Rodley, the worker was pushing a trolley before being struck by the forklift that had been unloading a delivery vehicle.

According to the Yorkshire Post, Woodlands Homecare Ltd. of Railway House, Calverley Lane, Rodley pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £233,334 with £21,620 in costs.

Rachel Brittain, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector commented after the hearing saying: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement the findings of their own transport plan”.

Vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries. Every year there are over 5,000 incidents involving transport in the workplace. About 50 of these result in people being killed.


A self-employed lorry driver suffered a broken leg when scrap steel fell from the trailer of his vehicle.
Some scrap steel had stuck in the vehicle trailer after tipping. The driver re-tipped the trailer and then, without lowering the trailer, walked round behind it to check that the scrap was discharged. Some scrap dislodged and fell on to him.
When he realised that some scrap had stuck in the trailer, the driver should have lowered the trailer body and freed the remaining load before re-tipping.


A worker died when his vehicle toppled over an unprotected edge.
A weighbridge was set near the entrance of a waste-handling site. It was raised about 30 cm above the level of the surrounding ground, and had no edge protection.
An employee driving a 2.5 tonne counterbalance lift truck followed regular practice and drove across the elevated weighbridge when a trailer blocked the normal site access road. The rear left wheel went over a 22 cm vertical edge and the truck toppled onto its side. The truck was not fitted with a seat belt, and the driver died when his head was struck by part of the lift truck frame.
Risk assessments had identified the potential for overturning – and the lack of a seatbelt – but no remedial action had been taken. The firm was prosecuted and fined.


A worker fell over 2m from a pallet balanced on the forks of a lift truck.
Pallets of sacks were stored three high but had settled unevenly. This sometimes made retrieving of the top sack difficult.
Using pallets raised on the forks of a lift truck as a work platform is dangerous, and is a common cause of accidents in warehouses. Pallet racking and a safer way of accessing the sacks should have been provided.
Access should have been gained using a mobile elevated work platform, a purpose-built and properly secured lift-truck working platform, or a stepladder.


An experienced LGV driver suffered head injuries when he fell approximately 4m from the top of a stack of pallets loaded on to a flatbed trailer.
He had climbed on top of the load to release a snagged rope used for securing the pallets.
A safe means of access to the top of the pallets should have been used, for example a mobile elevated work platform.
Climbing on top of loads should be avoided whenever ‘reasonably practicable’, and should not be attempted without appropriate precautions. The employer is responsible for instructing employees on the use of safe working practices.


Carlisle company fined after customer fatally crushed to death.


Need To Train


A Carlisle auto-salvage company was fined after a customer was trapped and fatally crushed when a lift truck, he had purchased was being loaded onto his own recovery vehicle.


Carlisle Crown Court heard that on 15 February 2018, a lift truck purchased from Michael Douglas Auto salvage Ltd was lifted using the company’s skip lorry onto a recovery vehicle at Stainton Road, Etterby. The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap Mr Paul Spence against the skip lorry.


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure that this complex lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and that it had failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk. A competent person would have identified that this loading method with this equipment was fundamentally unsafe.


The Company Michael Douglas Auto salvage Ltd of Stainton Rd, Etterby, Carlisle pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000.


Sandra Spence, Mr Spence’s widow said:

“Paul was taken too early, in a tragic way, and didn’t deserve his life to end this way. There is a big empty hole in my heart, he was a very loving husband and father. Paul always had a smile on his face and lived for his family.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley commented:

“This incident could so easily have been avoided should the lift have been properly planned and appropriate equipment and safe working practices been employed as a result.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”


The driver of a lift truck was injured when he was struck by a pallet falling from the back of the goods vehicle he was unloading.
The goods vehicle was loaded with pallets of flat-packed cardboard boxes, packed three pallets high. The forks did not reach high enough to unload the top pallet, so the driver tried to unload the top two pallets in one go. The top pallet toppled and fell approximately 3m, hitting the driver.
The lift truck did not have enough reach and was therefore not suitable for the task. A lift truck with protection against falling objects was also needed for work where objects could fall on the driver. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide equipment that is suitable for its intended use.


An employee driving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) received spinal injuries after the vehicle overturned while he reversed it down a slope.
To prevent the ATV from landing on him, the driver arched his back and pushed the ATV away from him. He was not wearing a helmet, and tried to protect himself as the vehicle overturned. He and other employees had received no training and the wearing of helmets was not enforced.
The company was issued an enforcement notice to train employees in the correct use of ATVs.




The following reports highlight some of the typical accidents that occur In industry each year. For obvious reasons the names of individuals have been removed.




A man was crushed to death between a forklift and the wall of a west midlands coal yard.


The man who was not named died whilst working at …..


It is believed he was using the truck to remove a barrel of rubbish next to the wall but stopped and climbed on to the forks to make an adjustment. Police said it appeared that the man’s foot knocked a lever which moved the forks trapping his HEAD against the wall. They added that there were no suspicious circumstances.


An employee of a logistics firm was delivering to a distribution warehouse in a curtain-sided lorry, when he received a serious hand injury.
A warehouse employee was using a fork-lift truck to offload pallets of newspapers. The trailer’s centre pole was obstructing one of the pallets. The lorry driver tried to remove the pole manually, but other pallets were pushing against it so he couldn’t remove the locking pin. It was decided to relieve pressure on the locking pin by using the fork-lift truck to push the pole, and the lorry driver’s hand was either struck or trapped by one of the forks, which severed his index finger.
The firms’ risk assessments had failed to identify this unsafe system of work, which was common practice in the warehouse. Both firms were prosecuted and have now revised their systems and trained staff how to remove poles safely.


A joiner suffered severe head injuries when he fell from the top of a stack of timber on the back of a flatbed lorry.
The joiner was helping to unload the delivery when he climbed on top of a timber stack. While edging along the stack, he lost his footing and fell. An unloading bay with a concrete platform was available to provide safe access for unloading vehicles, but was not used.


A temporary worker was struck by a lift truck and injured as he left the site at the end of the day. As he crossed in front of a door used by lift trucks, he suffered serious injuries when the forks of an emerging vehicle knocked him down.
The employee had not heard the vehicle horn and had received no information on general workplace hazards and how to avoid them. Vehicle and pedestrian routes were not marked or segregated. There were no markings on the doors to indicate their use and drivers could not see employees outside the building, as there were no vision panels in the doors.
The site operator is responsible for assessing the risks at the workplace arising out of work activities, and for taking the measures necessary to reduce those risks so that they are as low as ‘reasonably practicable’.


A site employee suffered severe injuries when he was trapped against a doorframe by a lift truck, driven by an untrained operator. When a delivery arrived earlier than expected, there wasn’t a trained lift truck operator available on site. The delivery driver decided to operate the site lift truck himself to unload. He reversed into pallets, over-corrected and reversed into the site employee.
The site operator should have made sure that only authorised people could use the lift truck. The site operator and the driver’s employer should have liaised and agreed procedures for unloading deliveries. These procedures should have included fixing a time for vehicles to arrive with deliveries. The driver should not have tried to operate a site vehicle without authorisation.


An employee was injured by a 360° excavator, which was operating in a poorly organised scrapyard.
The employee was removing a part from a vehicle when the reversing excavator, which had been converted for use as a vehicle grab, hit him and the track went over his right leg. The excavator was not fitted with devices to improve visibility from the cab, such as rear-mounted convex mirrors or CCTV, and the driver had not received formal excavator training. The excavator was working within 3 or 4 m of the injured worker on a daily basis, had knocked him once before and would often lift scrap cars over his head.
After the accident, the firm reorganised the yard and fenced off the area where employees were manually dismantling vehicles. The excavator is now used in a pedestrian-free area.

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