Glass recycler Recresco Ltd has been fined £180,000 after a worker was killed on his first day at work when the forklift truck he was driving overturned.
Ian Aliski, 29, was using the forklift at Recresco’s glass recycling plant in Ellesmere Port, on 26 April 2010 when the vehicle overturned, crushing him to death.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Aliski had been hired on a temporary four-day contract and was just a few hours into his first day when the incident happened.
Recresco was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found forklift truck drivers regularly had to work in an area that was often covered in waste materials. This prevented them from turning the vehicles safely.
On the day of the incident, Aliski was moving aggregate from the production area to a storage shed when the forklift truck became unstable on the uneven surface and overturned.
The court was told that Aliski was not wearing a seatbelt and there was no company policy in place to ensure seatbelts were worn.
The HSE’s investigation also found that the forklift trucks in use at the plant were not suitable for operation on uneven surfaces or over loose material such as that found on the site.
Alternative vehicles, such as four-wheel-drive, all terrain shovel loaders, were already in use elsewhere on the site. Since the incident, the company now uses these vehicles to move all the waste material and it is now company policy for seatbelts to be worn at all times in all vehicles.
Recresco was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay £38,693 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 on 17 December 2014.
A spokesperson for Recresco said: “The company wishes to extent its heartfelt condolences towards Mr Aliski’s family and friends. Matters which were found not to have met the required standards in early 2010 were rapidly remedied in accordance with the company’s long-standing commitment to safe working.
“The court accepted that the company had a responsible attitude to health and safety and a good health and safety record.”
*The photograph above from the HSE replaces an earlier picture incorrectly added in the production process.