Man dies whilst decanting varnish from silo into containers

A West Yorkshire based company have been fined £66,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs after man dies whilst decanting varnish from silo into containers.

The breach of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 occured in 2011, occurred when a silo of varnish slid from the forks of the forklift truck and toppled onto him. Investigations have shown that several safety failings occured, crucially the failure by Gardiner’s to spot risk to its workforce.

The man was decanting the varnish directly from the silo into the container via a tap as the base of the silo, which had been raised on the forks of the forklift. A combination of events led to the load sliding, including the heavy load creeping, the fact the forks had a downward tilt and the fact the valve being used frequently from below.

The company has failed to assess the risks and of the events taking place, and therefore employees were operating without a system of work in place to help employees complete their jobs safely. The court also heard that it had been dangerous for the forklift to be used to balance heavy loads for extended periods.

In addition to the death in March 2011, this was not the only incident involving a load falling from the forks, and even though readily available, safe alternatives were available these signs were not acted upon.

The health and safety executive is Britains national regulator for workplace health and safety,  which aims to reduce work related death, injury and ill health through various methods including promoting training.

If you think your employees require training, whether it be novice, experienced of refresher training, HL Training Services provide training that conforms to the requirements of the Health & Safety Commission Approved Code of Practice and Supplementary Guidance Rider operated Lift Trucks – Operator Training.


Do you want to know more about the courses we offer? For more information, contact the office on 0117 952 5625, visit our Training Courses Page or email [email protected]