Birmingham Manufacturer Fined for Inadequate Pedestrian Walkway Protection

In 2017, a Minteq UK Ltd employee was struck and killed by a forklift truck while walking in the designated pedestrian area of the site’s roadway. This designated area was in the middle of the roadway and was unprotected.

Minteq UK Ltd (trading as Specialty Minerals) has been cited £200,000 after an employee was hit by a forklift truck while walking in the designated pedestrian area of the site’s roadway. She was struck on July 24, 2017 and died about two weeks later on August 8, 2017.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigate the site and found that there were not adequate separations to divide where it was safe to walk from where it was not. The pedestrian walkway ran, unprotected, down the center of the roadway used by vehicles. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

HSE inspector Kay Brookes said that many people are killed or seriously injured by vehicles while at work, which makes it absolutely necessary to have adequate separation of walking areas and working areas.

“Far too many people are killed and seriously injured by vehicles in the workplace every year,” Brooks said. “Provisional data for 2018-19 shows that of the 147 workers fatally injured, 30 of them were as a result of being struck by a moving vehicle. Many hundreds are left with life-changing injuries.”

Brooks added that this incident was avoidable, and thus, is an excellent example of why the differentiation is necessary.

“The requirement to ensure adequate separation and segregation between pedestrians and vehicles is paramount,” Brooks said. “This tragic and wholly avoidable incident highlights the need for companies to comply with their legal duty to identify what can kill and seriously hurt people in their workplace and take steps to stop that happening.”

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