A Biggleswade company has been fined over £100k after one of its warehouse workers was seriously injured.
Tramo (UK) Ltd, which is based at Unit 16, Albone Way, plead guilty to breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £104,000 plus costs and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.
Luton Magistrates' Court heard how, on March 22, 2018, a significant amount of furniture fell on the worker from a loaded moving forklift truck, at Tramo (UK) Ltd Unit 16, Albone Way in Biggleswade.
Tramo said that its health and safety management system has been tightened up since 2018, with considerable management time spent maintaining it.
Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Executive Members for Community Services, said: “Sadly, this incident was entirely foreseeable and could easily have been avoided if the company had implemented a suitable management system to segregate pedestrians and vehicles on site.
"The worker’s injuries sustained in this incident were serious and could easily have been fatal."
An investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council identified that the employer failed to put adequate control measures in place to prevent the incident from occurring.
One of the main issues was the lack of segregation between pedestrians and vehicles on site.
Control measures and segregated operating zones are essential when it comes to keeping workers safe. All walkways and areas where vehicles are in operation should be clearly marked and supported by a robust safe system of work.
In addition, the council found that the company had also failed to provide workers with adequate health and safety training.
The company plead guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and other associated health and safety regulations.
Gary Magee, the current safety advisor for Tramo, was in court for the sentencing.
He said: "The judge recognised that Tramo had managed health and safety proactively for many years prior to the accident but the accident itself was evidence that there were gaps in the controls.
"Tramo is a well-managed company, important as an employer and business in Biggleswade.
"This case is a lesson to all companies.
"Unless all aspects of their health and safety management are completely controlled, they are at risk of injuries to their staff, potentially catastrophic fines and possibly even imprisonment.
"Tramo’s health and safety management system has been tightened up since 2018 and considerable management time is spent maintaining it."
You can find advice around health and safety at Central Beds Council's website.