Manufacturer Fined £450k after FLT Overturned and Killed 19yrs Man

A Derbyshire manufacturer has been fined £450,000 after a 19-year-old worker was killed when a forklift truck overturned.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Ben Pallier-Singleton sustained fatal head and neck injuries during the night of 10 February 2015, when the forklift truck he was driving overturned on a sloping roadway in the yard of Vinyl Compounds’ site in Chinley.

HSE inspectors and Derbyshire Constabulary found that Pallier-Singleton was not wearing a seat belt when the truck overturned, and that Vinyl Compounds failed to provide him with adequate training.

Pallier-Singleton’s mother, Kathryn Pallier, said after the sentencing hearing: “Ben was and always will be my beloved son, and much-loved brother to Dan and Sophie. Ben was a young man at the start of his life, full of life, fun and the excitement of plans and ideas for the future with his girlfriend, Kensey. He was the shining light of our family and brought everyone together.

“I am heartbroken and angry that Ben could go to work and be killed because his employer, Vinyl Compounds, took so little care of him, failed to train him or make sure the workplace was safe. It is utterly shocking that this can happen even now.

“The directors who made the decisions will be now able to get on with their lives but we are serving a life sentence. Any fine they have paid is nothing, no penalty at all compared to the penalty we face: life-long torment, endless sadness and grief without Ben.”

The HSE said that the company also failed to inform its employees of the speed limit on site; did not put in place measures to control the speed of vehicles; and failed to install adequate lighting and edge protection to stop FLTs overturning.

Vinyl Compounds of Stephanie Works, High Park, Derbyshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

It was fined £450,000 and ordered to pay costs of £71,728.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Berian Price said: “This tragic incident could have easily been prevented. The company’s management of fork lift truck driving operations and its failure to provide various measures to ensure the safety of the external yard area coupled with the lack of safe driver measures, such as wearing a seat belt, exposed employees to serious safety risks.

“Sadly, in this case, these failures resulted in the needless loss of Mr Pallier-Singleton’s life.”