A Preston-based steel supplier to the construction industry has appeared in court after a platform slid off the forks of a forklift truck and struck one of its employees.
The 50-year-old, who does not want to be named, fractured a rib, and suffered muscle and back injuries when he was hit by the heavy metal platform at EDV Reinforcements on the Red Scar Industrial Estate on 20 January 2011.
EDV was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive after an investigation found the platform had not been secured to the forklift, and instead was just resting on the forks.
Preston Magistrates' Court was told the truck was being used to lift a pile of steel mesh when the platform slid off. No one was standing on the platform at the time, but the injured worker was on the ground nearby.
EDV Reinforcements pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees.
The company, of Longridge Road in Preston, was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £3,566 in prosecution costs.
Speaking after the hearing, the investigating inspector at HSE, Richard Clarke, said: "The company should never have allowed the platform to be lifted on the forklift truck without it being properly secured.
"Sadly, one of EDV's employees suffered serious injuries as a result of this negligence, and it was an incident that could easily have been avoided.
"This case should act as a warning to companies to make sure heavy equipment is properly secured to forklifts before being lifted."