Racking Safety Failings Fine

Injuries sustained when racking overtoppled resulted (25th Sept) in company fine.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court were told the worker was using a tall rack with wheels to move trays of products. It featured a custom-made sheet metal top cover that had been unsuccessfully trialled but needlessly left in situ. The rack had been poorly loaded by a colleague and as he pushed it, it overbalanced and toppled over, taking him with it. The sharp edge of the top cover landed directly on his right hand and cut clean through his fingers and knuckles.

Inspection by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the rack was inherently unsafe because it was top heavy due to its custom cover. It should have been removed as soon as an earlier trial had established it required modification, especially as a standard cover was available from the rack manufacturer that would have provided a safer suitable alternative.

Magistrates were also told the incident could have been prevented had the company better communicated and monitored the risks arising from overloading the rack, which are well known in the industry.

Here is HSE’s press release.

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