A vegetable business, based in Lincolnshire, has been ordered to pay £200,000 after a manager died when he was hit by a forklift truck.
Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after it conducted an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident.
The official enquiry revealed that the firm did not implement effective measures to allow vehicles and pedestrians to simultaneously use the site safely.
Farm manager Peter Barney, aged 58, of Broadgate, Weston, was struck by the forklift truck while walking from his car across the yard at Middle Farm, in Moulton Seas End on October 31st 2010.
Lincoln Crown Court heard on Friday (January 3rd) that the accident happened when Mr Barney was walking towards a potato grading shed. The manager - who had been an employee at the firm for 38 years - died on the farm after being crushed by the forklift truck while it was being driven by a colleague.
The court was told that the Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd had failed to implement the recommendations of safety consultants to segregate pedestrians and vehicles, after a risk assessment was conducted in 2003.
The firm allowed workers to park cars in areas that brought them into contact with workplace vehicles. Workers were also permitted to use the same entrance to the grading shed as the forklift truck.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Neil Ward said: “If Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd had taken effective steps to keep employees safe, Mr Barney would still be alive today.
“Employees on foot were using the same doorway as the forklift truck, which meant there was a significant risk of them being struck.”
Mr Ward said that the firm should have managed the yard properly, so that people and vehicles were not sharing the same spaces.
He added: “Sadly, Mr Barney lost his life because this simple procedure wasn’t in place.”
Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd, of Wool Hall Farm, Wykeham, Spalding pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Consequently, the company has been fined £165,000 and ordered to pay an additional £39,500 in costs.