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Company fined £500k following forklift truck death

15 November 2023

THE MOTHER of a man who was killed when the forklift truck he was driving overturned says she still feels angry as he ‘simply went to work and didn’t come home.’

Jamie Anderson was killed on 4 June 2019, when the forklift truck he was operating overturned at a depot in Newark.

The 35-year-old father of one, was found in the car park trapped under the roll cage of the vehicle. He had been using a counterbalance forklift truck to move waste material when it clipped a kerbstone at the edge of the roadway and overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt.  

His mum Sarah Anderson, a care assistant from Newark said, “No mother should lose a child and for Jamie’s son Harley he has lost a loving father.

“As a family we have gone through all emotions, and I still feel angry as Jamie simply went to work and didn’t come home. This should not have happened.

“He was a happy-go-lucky boy and would do anything for anyone. It’s the everyday things that remind me of him and I miss his smile and blue eyes. He’s missed so much.”

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that The Barcode Warehouse Ltd failed to enforce the use of seatbelts by forklift truck operators. They should have properly risk assessed the use of forklift trucks on their premises and enforced the use of seatbelts. Instead, it was left to individuals to choose whether to wear a seatbelt or not.

At Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 8 November the Barcode Warehouse Ltd of Telford Drive, Newark pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.  They were fined £500,000 and agreed to pay costs of £7,040.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, Tim Nicholson said, “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. Jamie’s death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved and enforced the use of seatbelts by forklift truck operators.”

This HSE prosecution was supported by HSE lawyers Nathan Cook and Jonathan Bambro, and Paralegal Officer Rubina Abdul-Karim.

The Barcode Warehouse owners have issued a statement: "The Barcode Warehouse Limited's aim is for everybody to go home safe and well at the end of each day.  We deeply regret the incident which occurred at our Telford Drive site in 2019 in which Jamie Anderson sadly suffered fatal injuries. We would again like to apologise to Jamie's family and friends who have been affected by this tragedy. We continue to strive to achieve the very best standards of health and safety and we are thankful to the Coroner who recognised that if we had been aware of the risk then we would have addressed it. This awful tragedy highlighted to us the importance of drivers wearing seatbelts at all times when using forklift trucks."