An employee died in a fork lift accident
Retail store chain Wilko has been handed a £200,000 fine
after an employee was killed in a crash between two fork lift trucks at one of
the firm’s distribution centres.
George Hancock died in December 2011 after sustaining
injuries in the accident. He was crushed by the truck’s roll cage as it tipped
An investigation was launched by Bassetlaw District Council EHOs.
They found the ‘most immediate causes’ of the fatality were ‘certain driving
practices’ and that the company did not ensure drivers wore seat belts.
An inquest was held at Nottingham Coroner’s Court in
December 2013. A jury recorded a verdict of accidental death.
A prosecution was brought to Nottingham Crown Court on 13
January. The company pleaded guilty to charges brought under the Health and
Safety at Work Act 1974.
The judge said the fork lift trucks operated in a dangerous
environment and there was no proper monitoring of movements.
Wilko was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay full costs of
The council said that following the accident the company improved
their health and safety measures for transport at the distribution centre,
including measures to ensure safety belts are used.
Julie Leigh, Bassetlaw’s cabinet
member for neighbourhoods, said: ‘We wish to express again our sincere
condolences to the family of Mr Hancock.
A death at work is always a most tragic event and the impact on the
family of the deceased, their colleagues and their friends cannot be under
‘One of the outcomes of this case is the importance of
employers being vigilant in ensuring their fork lift drivers wear the fitted
seat belts whilst driving their vehicles, and for such staff to always’ buckle
up’ every time they get onto a truck.
‘No-one would want any other family to have to suffer a
similar loss in the future.’
A Wilko spokesperson said: 'Everyone at Wilko was devastated by the death of
George Hancock in this tragic accident. He was a highly valued team member, who
was sadly fatally injured whilst carrying out his normal duties at our Worksop
Distribution Centre four years ago.
'The responsibility for the health and
safety of our team members through safe working practices rests with Wilko. Our
thoughts, and those of his colleagues, are with his family.'