4 Sep 2014

Enfield firm in court after faking safety record.

A North London meat wholesalers has been sentenced for operating a fault-ridden forklift truck and trying to deceive safety inspectors by forging a positive examination report on the vehicle.

MIB United Meat Ltd, of Enfield, Middlesex, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at Westminster Magistrates’ Court (3 Sept) after admitting three breaches of safety legislation.

The court heard that the offences resulted from a routine health and safety inspection at their premises in Stockingswater Lane, Enfield, on 8 March 2013.

During the visit, an HSE inspector asked to see the vehicle examination records for the company’s 2.5-tonne counterbalance forklift truck. A document was later emailed to the inspector but appeared to be – and was later proven to be – a fraud.

HSE found the forklift truck had never been examined, as required by safety rules for lifting equipment, since being purchased in August 2011. A specialist mechanical inspector from HSE, who examined the forklift in April 2013, found more than 40 faults, including some that could have endangered its operator.

HSE served a prohibition notice on MIB United Meat Ltd to stop any use of the vehicle until it was safe to use.

MIB was fined a total of £18,000 and ordered to pay £2314 in full costs for single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974; the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Tahir Mortuza said:

“MIB United Meat Ltd was required by law to make sure its forklift truck was maintained regularly and properly examined to allow the identification of safety-critical defects. It failed to do this and the vehicle was allowed to deteriorate to the point of being riddled with faults.

“It compounded this failure with a blatant attempt to deceive HSE by forging documentation purporting to be an examination record. This is a serious offence and demonstrates that the company was willing to expose its employees to the risk of serious injury or even death.”

For information and advice on forklift trucks and on LOLER regulations, visit the HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk

The Good to Go Safety system includes a comprehensive checklist to help you meet your obligations to relevant legislation and industry guidelines. Duplicate copies of each completed inspection are created and retained within the check book, providing invaluable evidence of your Safe Equipment Management System in the event of an audit or accident.

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