Co Tyrone firm fined £24,000 over forklift death

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A factory in Co Tyrone has been fined £24,000 for health and safety breaches that led to the death of a forklift driver in August 2014.

Cherry Pipes Ltd in Dungannon was also ordered to pay £854 in costs after an investigation found the 49-year-old Polish employee was employed as a general operative, and had not been trained on forklift driving.

Antrim Crown Court heard yesterday how the worker was fatally injured at the company’s Nutts Corner, Crumllin premises when the machine he was driving overturned, trapping him between the vehicle’s safety frame and the ground.

Cherry Pipes specialises in the manufacture and distribution of plastic drainage systems and has its main premises at Derryhirk Road, Tullyroan.

The investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).

Speaking after the court hearing an inspector with HSENI’s major investigation team, Kevin Campbell, said: “Employers must ensure that operators of forklift trucks are properly trained, competent and authorised to operate lift trucks.

“No one should be allowed to operate a forklift truck unless they have received the appropriate training and instruction.”

Mr Campbell added: “It is also essential that employers provide health and safety information to their employees that is clear and easily understood.”

The company was found to have breached the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.