Welwyn Garden City company fined over preventable accident

A COMPANY has been ordered to pay more than �50,000 after a staff member was left unable to work following an accident that could have been prevented. In February 2008, Michael O'Connor was working as a cleaner at lighting company Aurora s distribution ce

A COMPANY has been ordered to pay more than �50,000 after a staff member was left unable to work following an accident that could have been prevented.

In February 2008, Michael O'Connor was working as a cleaner at lighting company Aurora's distribution centre in WGC, when he was hit by a forklift truck while crossing the warehouse floor.

Mr O'Connor, from WGC, broke both legs in the accident, and was left with extensive tissue injuries that required months of skin graft treatment.

He is unable to return to work and still suffers pain.

At Central Herts Magistrates' Court in St Albans last week, the company was fined �35,000 and ordered to pay costs of �15,750 to Welwyn Hatfield Council, which led the investigation into the accident.

The council's environmental health team uncovered numerous health and safety offences, including lack of risk assessment, failure to separate moving vehicles from pedestrians and not providing employees with a safe system of working.

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The team also discovered the company, based in Little Burrow, allowed the truck to be driven with a load that obscured the driver's view.