Scottish food company fined £100 000 for forklift death

A Scotland food firm has been fined £100 000 after a worker was run over and killed by a forklift truck at a factory in West Lothian.

Vion Food pleaded guilty to breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act over the death of 60-year-old George Hardie two years ago after he was hit by a badly loaded forklift truck, the BBC reports.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the driver had been carrying two large crates that obscured his view.

Hardie, from Livingston, was walking across a yard on 2 June 2009 to drop paperwork off at another part of the Broxburn site when a colleague driving a forklift carrying two large empty containers across the yard to be washed hit him.

The containers were stacked on top of each other on the front of the forklift, with the top of the load approximately 160cm off the ground, meaning it was difficult hard for the driver to see over them.

As the driver approached the container wash, he felt his truck go over something and when he stopped and got out he saw Hardie lying on his back.

Hardie was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, but was dead on arrival.

An HSE investigation found Vion Food Group subsidiary Vion Food Scotland had not properly assessed the risks of moving the containers around the yard or made arrangements to make sure the containers were moved safely.

It also found the company did not have a safe traffic management system or adequate supervision in place to keep pedestrians away from vehicles.

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