Derbyshire firm fined £450k over forklift driver's death

Ben Pallier-Singleton Image copyright HSE handout
Image caption Ben Pallier-Singleton's mother said he was "the shining light of our family"

A firm has been fined £450,000 after the "needless" death of a forklift truck driver.

Ben Pallier-Singleton, 19, of Cheshire died when the vehicle overturned at Vinyl Compound Ltd's site in High Peak, Derbyshire on 10 February 2015.

The firm did not train him properly and failed to put safety measures in place, the Health and Safety Executive said.

It admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

Image copyright HSE handout
Image caption Mr Pallier-Singleton was not adequately trained by the firm, said the HSE

Manchester Crown Court in Minshull Street also ordered Vinyl Compound to pay almost £72,000 in costs.

'Heartbroken and angry'

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Mr Pallier-Singleton, from Disley, was not wearing a seatbelt when his truck overturned, causing fatal crush injuries.

He was driving it during the night down a "sloping roadway" at the time, the HSE said.

Its investigation found the Chinley firm did not inform employees of the speed limit at the site, had not put measures in place to control the speed of vehicles and failed to have adequate lighting and protection in place to prevent overturning.

Mr Pallier-Singleton's mother Kathryn Pallier said after the sentencing: "I am heartbroken and angry Ben could go to work and be killed because his employer Vinyl Compounds took so little care of him, failed to train him or make sure the workplace was safe.

"The directors who made the decisions will be now able to get on with their lives but we are serving a life sentence.

"Any fine they have paid is nothing, no penalty at all compared to the penalty we face: life-long torment, endless sadness and grief without Ben."

She added: "He was the shining light of our family and brought everyone together."

HSE inspector Berian Price said the tragedy "could have easily been prevented".

The firm's lack of safety measures had "exposed employees to serious safety risks" and in this case resulted in the "needless loss of Mr Pallier-Singleton's life".

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