Local firm fined after driver is crushed between HGV and forklift truck in warehouse

THREE companies, including an Ascot business, have been given huge six-figure fines after a driver was crushed between a reversing HGV and forklift truck at a warehouse beside Heathrow Airport. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the employee of Davies Turner Air Cargo Limited was collecting a consignment from Airworld Airlines Ltd's site at X2 Hatton Cross Centre, which is alongside Heathrow Airport. It happened in August 2017 and involved a reversing vehicle operated by Saints Transport Limited, which was collecting a consignment from Unilode Aviation Solutions UK Limited, also based at the X2 Hatton Cross Centre.

The employee became crushed between the rear of te Saints Transport Limited operated vehicle and the forklift truck. This caused the employee serious injuries. HSE visited the site, owned by Brixton (Hatton Cross) 1 Limited and managed by Segro Administration Limited, finding that the site layout did not segregate those working or visiting the site from being struck by moving vehicles.

The regulator said none of the defendants had taken responsibility for managing traffic, and did not communicate, cooperate, or coordinate with one another. Segro Administration Limited, of New Burlington Place, London' pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work. Airworld Airlines Ltd, of High Street, Sunninghill, Ascot, and Unilode Aviation Solutions UK Limited, of Hatton Cross Centre, Heathrow, Middlesex, both also pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work.

Segro Administration Limited was fined GBP320,000 and ordered to pay costs of GBP17,584, Airworld Airlines Ltd was fined GBP120,000 and ordered to pay costs of GBP17,605, and Unilode Aviation Solutions UK Limited was fined GBP110,000 and ordered to pay costs of GBP10,878 at Southwark Crown Court on November 1. Following the guilty pleas, the prosecution reconsidered the charges laid against Brixton (Hatton Cross) 1 Limited, Saints Transport Limited and Davies Turner Air Cargo Limited, and determined that it was no longer in the public interest to continue with their cases. The prosecution offered no evidence, and these defendants were found not guilty.

Speaking after the case, HM Acting Principal Inspector Sarah Pearce said: "This incident was entirely avoidable. Workplace transport incidents fatally injure 50 workers in Great Britain a year, with 5,000 other incidents resulting in serious personal injury. "Where reasonably practicable, reversing manoeuvres should be avoided and pedestrians and moving vehicles segregated.

"Where businesses share a workplace, as in this case, they should ensure that there are systems in place for sufficient communication, co-operation and co-ordination so that others are aware of the risks arising from their undertaking."