Fork lift trucks are undoubtedly an amazing work implement but as any cursory search of Youtube will reveal they can lead to the most catastrophic incidents when it all goes wrong. At Lampkin & Co we have dealt with many accidents at work involving forklift trucks that highlight how employers must attend to health and safety rigorously to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest reasonable level.
A case handled by us shortly after our birth in 1999 involved a forklift truck that actually caught fire. Our client was fully trained on his machine and was working in one of the many paper mills in the Deeside area. Flintshire is renowned for its large factories based on an abundant and skilled workforce.
Whilst the forklift had been generally well maintained to prevent a fork lift accident, no regular system of inspection and most importantly cleaning had been put in place. As the vehicle was working almost constantly its cooling fan was working overtime particularly in the middle of an unduly hot summer. This meant that paper fibres in the air were sucked in to the engine compartment and became encrusted around the engine. This build up of flammable materials on the engine caused the engine compartment to suddenly ignite.
The fork lift truck driver on seeing his vehicle burst into flames leapt to safety but jarred his back in the process. This presented difficulties when the insurers tried to argue that he may have been the author of his own misfortune as he had not cleaned his machine and he could have dismounted calmly as opposed to endangering himself by leaping.
As expert work accident lawyers we easily defeated these arguments and achieved a full award for our Flintshire factory worker injured in an accident at work.