Manufacturing company hit with half-a-million-pound fine after forklift truck death

The Barcode Warehouse Ltd's depot in Newark

Jamie Anderson, a 35-year-old father of one, lost his life on June 4, 2019, when the forklift truck he was operating overturned at a depot in Newark.

He was discovered in the car park, trapped beneath the roll cage of the vehicle. The incident occurred as he was using a counterbalance forklift to move waste material, and it overturned after clipping a kerbstone at the edge of the roadway, he was not wearing a seatbelt.

His mum, Sarah Anderson said: “No mother should lose a child and Jamie’s son Harley 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 inquiry conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that The Barcode Warehouse neglected to enforce the use of seatbelts for forklift truck operators.

The company should have conducted a proper risk assessment for the use of forklift trucks on their premises and ensured the mandatory use of seatbelts. However, the responsibility was left to individuals to decide whether to wear seatbelts or not.

On November 8 at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, The Barcode Warehouse, located at Telford Drive, Newark, pleaded guilty to violating Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

They were fined £500,000 and agreed to cover costs amounting to £7,039.55.

Following 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.”

A spokesperson for The Barcode Warehouse said: “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.”

The HSE prosecution received support from HSE lawyers Nathan Cook and Jonathan Bambro, along with paralegal officer Rubina Abdul-Karim.