Mr Robert Eddom was in the ‘Goods Out' section of the recycling plant when he was hit by the forklift truck. Although ECO Plastics had designed a segregated walkway for its employees to keep them away from the moving vehicles in the recycling plant, on the day of Mr Eddom's accident the walk way was out of use as it had building materials stored on it and it was taped off due to some construction work taking place.
As a result of the walkway being taped off, all employees had to use a route through the Goods Out section that was shared with forklift truck traffic, which effectively meant there was no segregation or safe passageway for pedestrians.
Mr Eddom, who was 63 at the time of the accident, suffered from terrible injuries after being hit by the reversing forklift truck. Due to the serious nature of his injuries he was airlifted to hospital with internal bleeding, damage to the vertebrae in his spine and serious tissue damage to his back, shoulder, neck, legs and knees.
In addition to his physical injuries, Mr Eddom also suffers from psychological injuries resulting from the accident and was forced to take early retirement as a result.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted ECO Plastics LTD under the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £12,500, and additionally court costs of £5,261.
Diane Parker, head of personal injury at Atherton Godfrey, said: "Installing safety measures are not ‘box ticking' exercises; once installed they have to be maintained and monitored.
"This accident was entirely preventable. ECO Plastics should not have allowed the walkway to be used for storage in this way and when the walkway became inaccessible, a suitable alternative should have been provided"
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