Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland firm fined £50k after two tonne pallet fell on employee Jonathan Peden

Jonathan Peden and his new bride Roisin before the fatal accident at work just weeks later
Jonathan Peden and his new bride Roisin before the fatal accident at work just weeks later

A Northern Ireland company has been fined £50,000 after an employee died when a two tonne pallet fell on top of him.

Alan little Ltd, based in Lurgan, pleaded guilty after Jonathan Peden suffered fatal injuries during an unloading operation.

Mr Peden died after he was struck by a palletised load which fell from the forks of a telescopic handler during the operation.

The driver of the lorry also sustained relatively minor injuries when he was impacted by the load as it fell.

The telescopic handler, which was on hire, was being operated by an untrained member of staff.

The palletised load weighing over two tonnes consisted of a robot and an electrical control box. Neither were secured to the pallet and during the lifting operation to remove the pallet from the lorry, the robot became unstable and toppled over, striking Mr Peden as it fell.

Health and Safety Executive NI Inspector Kyle Carrick said: “Our thoughts are with the Peden family today. Jonathan’s tragic death could have been avoided if his employer had properly considered the risks associated with this unloading activity.

“Careful consideration of the risks is vital to ensure practical and often simple measures are put in place to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“Load stability and security are important factors to consider, as is operator training, which is a legal requirement for anyone operating lift trucks, including telescopic handlers.

“Pedestrians and other people who are not directly involved in loading or unloading operations should always be kept clear of dangerous lifting activities.”

The firm was fined for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Order 1978.

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