Archive for January 7, 2012

The company was fined £60,000 in total and ordered to pay £41,339 costs.



A Lichfield logistics firm has been fined after a forklift driver broke his neck when a computer cabinet he was loading onto a trailer fell on him.
Barry Hill, 60, was operating the truck at Palletways (UK) Ltd, Fradley Distribution Park, when he noticed that one of the cabinets was rocking on the forks.

Stafford Crown Court heard Mr Hill got out of the forklift to catch the cabinet but it fell forward, hitting him on the head and knocking him to the ground. His neck and right wrist were broken and he has not worked since the incident on 22 August 2008.

After the incident Mr Hill was bleeding from a visible head wound, but the depot manager did not know who the first aiders were and took him around the site looking for help rather than leaving him in the office with a colleague.

A trained first aider assessed Mr Hill but did not recognise the seriousness of his injuries. Nobody called an ambulance and instead the first aider drove Mr Hill by car to a hospital with no accident and emergency unit, from where he was airlifted to Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham.

He spent six days in hospital and 14 weeks in halo traction and still suffers from discomfort in his neck. He has been left partially disabled following the incident.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found that Palletways (UK) had failed to assess the risks of moving and loading goods, and to instruct, monitor and supervise forklift drivers properly.

In addition, the company did not have a clear system for dealing with employees who had suffered incidents or injuries at work.

Palletways (UK) Ltd of Wood End Lane, Fradley, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £60,000 in total and ordered to pay £41,339 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Lyn Spooner said:

“This was a preventable incident that could easily have resulted in death or paralysis.

“Each year, about 8,000 incidents involving lift trucks, often caused by poor operator training, are reported to HSE.

“Any company that carries out lifting operations must assess the risks thoroughly, especially the need for proper training and supervision. There is no excuse for failing to do this, especially as free guidance is available from HSE.

“There was also a string of management failings in dealing with Mr Hill when he reported the incident. It was clear that he had suffered a head injury and Palletways (UK) should have treated this as a very serious incident and called an ambulance immediately.”

The HSE publication ‘Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training’ can be downloaded for free at

Arrest After Racist Comments Made In Redditch

Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident in which racist comments were directed towards a security guard in Redditch.

It happened in the bus station at the Kingfisher Centre between around 6.45pm and 7.05pm yesterday, Thursday 5th January.

Racist comments were directed towards a security guard who had intervened when he saw a man harassing a group of youths.

A man was arrested in connection with the incident and has been released on police bail until 5th February.

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact PC Richard Britton on 0300 333 3000 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

Now Labour Councillors join residents in calling for Kevin Dicks to go

 BROMSGROVE Labour group has called for the resignation of Bromsgrove District Council’s chief executive in a damning report into the Marlbrook Tip site.

It comes some weeks after residents had a petition refused by the Council’s solicitors calling on Kevin Dicks to resign.

The council is heavily criticised in Labour’s Minority Scrutiny Report, which says alarm bells were ringing but the authority was “deaf and blind to what was happening”.

The report is a result of Labour councillors deciding not to take part in a investigation currently being carried out by the council’s overview and scrutiny group.

The report says the Labour group understood its leader, Councillor Peter McDonald, would be the task group’s chairman after this was agreed at a September meeting, with the group believing it would compromise the investigation if the group was chaired by a Conservative.

But after Coun McDonald was not made chairman, this led to the group carrying out its own scrutiny exercise.

The report contains interviews carried out with members of the Marlbrook Tip Monitoring Group, the council’s enforcement officer and an Environment Agency officer.

It states the council failed to closely scrutinise developer’s site reports, which the Labour group say contained “obvious errors in the figures”.

Chief Executive Kevin Dicks receives criticism, the Labour group stating he could not have checked these reports as he would have noticed errors.

The report goes on to recommend Mr Dicks should consider his position as confidence in his leadership has been permanently damaged.

Speaking to the Advertiser, following the report’s publication yesterday, (January 5), Coun McDonald said: “The council failed in its duties and responsibilities to the people.

“It is not personal, but at the end of the day, the person as the top has got to take responsibility.”

Bromsgrove District Council leader Roger Hollingworth described the report as worthless, and calls for the chief executive’s resignation as ludicrous.

“It is pure electioneering”, he said.

“The chief executive has turned Bromsgrove’s council into one of the best in the country.

“This is all about the Labour leader not being made task group chairman.”

In December, following the release of a draft report by the Worcestershire Internal Audit into the site, Mr Dicks said the authority would learn the lessons of what went wrong and why.

It has been thought by insiders at both Councils for sometime that Kevin Dicks lacks the Leadership skills needed for running the Councils.