Timber merchant fined £14,000 after employee death

8 November 2017

Hampshire timber merchant J F Goodwillie Ltd has been fined after the death of a 48-year old employee.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard at a recent hearing that the employee was tasked with moving loads of hardwood on March 12, 2016 at the company’s site in Waterlooville, when the forklift truck (FLT) he was using overturned.

Mr Hooper suffered injuries as he jumped from the cab and later died in hospital on March 22, 2016 due to unforeseen complications.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the loads of hardwood weighed over 4,500kg, 500kg more than the maximum load of the forklift truck used for this task.

It was also found that the risk assessment J F Goodwillie completed in May 2015 failed to identify the risk to forklift operators in the cabin when or if the vehicle overturned.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,296.