Beer delivery firm fined £800,000 after worker was run over by forklift truck at Dagenham depot
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 February 2020
An international company that delivers beer to pubs across the UK has been ordered to pay £825,000 after a worker was scarred for life when he was run over by a forklift truck.
Kuehne and Nagel Drinks Logistics (KNDL) admitted health and safety breaches at its Dagenham depot after an investigation by Barking and Dagenham Council.
Gary Odger was left with severe injuries and almost lost his legs when a forklift truck loaded with kegs reversed into him.
He said: "I was just walking through the yard, and the wheel went over my leg and my leg was hanging off… we've been through hell and back."
KNDL, which delivers Heineken, Kronenbourg and Strongbow, was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 in costs.
District judge Susan Holdham, sitting at Barkingside Magistates' Court on Tuesday, February 4, said: "I consider that the level of culpability is high. KNDL failed to ensure that drivers and crews were not permitted in the warehouse or yard while forklift trucks were operating, they failed to provide barriers around the whole of the warehouse, they failed to provide painted floor markings and zebra crossing points. They failed to provide separate entrances for vehicles and pedestrians."
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She added that the company's transit point manager had raised concerns and been requesting safety floor markings at the site for five years before the worker was run over.
Barking and Dagenham Council launched an investigation after the accident in 2017 and took the company to court for health and safety breaches.
KNDL, a subsidiary of international haulage company Kuehne+Nagel Limited, admitted failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees at an earlier hearing.
Mr Odger is now back at work three days a week following three major operations on his legs.
Following the hearing, councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: "I welcome this judgement and hope it sends out a clear message to other businesses.
"We welcome businesses, but they have to operate within the law. The health and safety of employees must be paramount and for those who choose not to obey the law, we will take action."
KNDL has been contacted for comment.