Haulier fined £30,000 after ‘hero’ mechanic dies

forklift truck Mr Robinson was attempting to fix

A Lancashire trucking company has been fined £30,000 after a mechanic died while repairing a forklift truck.

Joseph Robinson, a mechanic at E Jackson (Chatburn) Ltd, was working with a new employee as they attempted to fix a steering fault on a forklift truck at the firm’s site at Salthill Industrial Estate in Clitheroe on October 13, 2020.

While doing this, Mr Robinson told the new employee, who was driving the forklift truck, to move the vehicle forwards. However, the vehicle reversed and trapped Mr Robinson against a trailer.

The 39-year-old, who was from Clitheroe, was taken to hospital with severe head injuries following the incident and placed in an induced coma.

He died the following day on October 14, 2020.

Mr Robinson’s mother, Sue Robinson, said: “Joe was a much-loved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. He was a hero in our eyes; honest, hardworking, loyal and generous of spirit.

“Joe was always going to be a mechanic. As a little boy he loved to take things apart, see how they worked and put them back together, so on leaving school that was the profession that he chose to follow.”

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the forklift truck was over 30 years old and had not been maintained nor subjected to a Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) examination for some years.

No principles of working with vehicles at the site had been put in place, such as designating a safe repair area or separating pedestrians and vehicles.

E. Jackson (Chatburn) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3712.80 at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on April 11, 2023.