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Discussion in 'Gone But Not Forgotten' started by stock, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. DEERE310SG

    DEERE310SG Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    New Brunswick,Canada
    That vary sad news my condolences to his family and friends.
  2. stock

    stock Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    We have moved on and now were lost....
    The report on Neils fatal workplace accident is now available. It is well worth reading.


    Sheriff of Grampian, Highland And Islands at Banff

    in respect of

    Fatal Accident Inquiry relating to the Death of Neil William Bremner Banff January 2012.

    The Sheriff, having heard evidence on 7 December 2011 and now having resumed consideration of the matter Finds and Determines as follows:-

    (a) In terms of Section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accident and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, Neil William Bremner, aged 39 years (date of birth 08.01.1972), who resided at 1 Thomastown Cottages Turriff, Aberdeenshire, died in the course of his employment at about 11:15 hours on 28 March 2011 within a shed at Woodside of Delgaty, Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

    (b) In Terms of Section 6(1)(b) of the said Act, Mr Bremner's death occurred as the result of neck and chest injuries sustained in an industrial accident when the forklift truck which he was driving toppled over and part of it struck him on the neck and chest and pinned him to the ground as he attempted to exit the truck as it fell. The accident was caused by human error on the part of Mr Bremner in reversing the truck with its mast extended to such a height that it struck the roof of the shed where he was working thus causing the truck to become unstable and topple over.

    (c) In terms of Section 6(1)(c) of the said Act, I determine that if the forklift truck being driven by Mr Bremner at the time of the accident had been fitted with a seat belt and if Mr Bremner had been wearing such a seat belt at the time of the accident his death might have been avoided, although the accident would still have occurred.

    (d) In terms of Section 6(1)(d) of the said Act, apart from the matters identified in the immediately preceding paragraphs I cannot identify any defect in any system of working which contributed to Mr Bremner's death.

    Sheriff Philip Mann

    2. Preliminary Matters

    2.1 At the outset, as I did at the outset of the inquiry, I express my sympathy and condolences to Mr Bremner's family in respect of his tragic and untimely death.

    2.2 At the outset of the inquiry I indicated that Mr Bremner's family might not get all of the answers that they might be looking for. I repeat that here with a reminder that the purpose of an inquiry such as this is to ascertain the facts surrounding the death, so far as possible, and not to apportion blame for the death.

    5. Findings in Fact

    From the oral and documentary evidence I am able to make the following findings in fact:

    5.1 Mr Bremner was an experienced forklift truck driver who held appropriate certificates of training.

    5.2 Mr Bremner was a self employed worker under contract as a temporary worker with xxxxx Services Limited. He was hard working and reliable and was well respected.

    5.4 At the time of his death worked as a temporary worker. Mr Bremner's duties were to drive a forklift truck in a shed at Woodside of Delgaty for the purpose of shifting boxes of potatoes as part of a grading process. His duties also involved supervising other workers.

    5.6 The forklift truck in question was a counterbalanced masted forklift truck. Such trucks are unstable and liable to overturn in certain conditions. These conditions include when the direction of travel of the truck is suddenly altered or impeded, even when it is traveling at speeds as low as 4 miles per hour. The forklift truck in question was capable of speeds of up to 12 miles per hour in both forward and reverse gears.

    5.7 A forklift truck transports loads such as boxes of potatoes by carrying them on its forks which protrude from the front of the truck and which are attached to a mast. The height of the forks is adjusted by raising or lowering the mast. In this way loads can be raised or lowered for stacking or unstacking. The forklift truck in question had a mast which could be extended to such a height that it was capable of stacking potato boxes in stacks eight high, although the boxes were normally stacked no more than five high.

    5.8 When a load is being transported and once a load has been deposited and the forks are unloaded (in other words, when the forklift truck is moving from one location to another) it is good and safe practice for the forks to be lowered by lowering the height of the mast so as to avoid the risk of an extended mast striking an overhead obstacle.

    5.9 At the time of the accident Mr Bremner was reversing the forklift truck with the forks unloaded and the mast extended. He was traveling at a speed which, although relatively modest, was too fast in the circumstances which occurred. As an experienced operator he ought to have appreciated that in driving in this manner he was putting himself in danger.

    5.10 The extended mast of the forklift truck struck a part of the roof structure of the shed. At the moment of impact the forklift truck was turning. The impact caused the forklift truck to become unstable and it toppled over on its side.

    5.11 The forklift truck was not fitted with a seat belt. It was of such an age that it was not compulsory that it be so fitted. xxxxx had not considered it necessary to have a seat belt fitted because the surface within the shed was flat concrete and he had assessed that there was no risk of the forklift truck overturning if driven properly, that is with the mast not extended. Furthermore, the job upon which Mr Bremner was engaged required that he frequently alight from the machine in order to check boxes and labels.

    5.12 The Health and Safety Executive have an information sheet entitled "Fitting and use of restraining systems on lift trucks". Under the heading "When should operator restraint be used?" it provides as follows:-

    "Operator restraint should be worn at all times when LTs are in motion unless:

    · The LT operator needs to dismount repeatedly and frequently (eg to position loads on the forks or check stock levels: and (my emphasis)

    · The truck is used on a smooth, firm, level surface (eg concrete floor): and (my emphasis)

    · The truck is unlikely to be operated at speeds or in ways which would cause overturn due to the nature of the operations being carried out and the area in which it is working"

    Because of the speed capability of the forklift truck in question and the height capability of its mast, the information sheet could be construed as recommending the fitting and wearing of a driver restraint, such as a seat belt, in the circumstances in which the forklift truck was being used at the time of the accident. Mr ***** was not aware of the information sheet. Nor would Mr Bremner have been aware of its existence.

    5.13 In any event, even if a seat belt had been fitted Mr Bremner would not have worn it. This was because the nature of the job upon which he was engaged required that he frequently and constantly alight from the truck to check boxes and labels. This would have made the fastening and unfastening of a seat belt very inconvenient. Mr Bremner was thus not restrained as the truck toppled on its side.

    5.14 As the truck toppled, Mr Bremner, being unrestrained, instinctively tried to exit from the truck on the side towards which it was falling. His exit was impeded by a stanchion. He was struck by the frame of the driver's compartment of the truck and was pinned to the ground by his neck and chest. He died instantaneously as a result. Even if his exit had not been impeded it is likely that he would have been crushed by the machine in any event.

    Here is a link to the full document and not the abridged one I have posted to meet the site's maximum character number.
    http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2012 FAI 4.html
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  3. robin yates uk

    robin yates uk Senior Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    very sad indeed,,,,,,,,,RIP

    JDOFMEMI Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2007

    Thanks for the follow up on this sad occurrence. It is good to read the outcome of the accident investigations in order to try to not make the same mistakes.

    In my opinion, 99.5% of the time, it is best to remain seated when a machine is going over. They are mostly designed to protect the operator, but only if he is sitting where he belongs.
  5. Reel hip

    Reel hip Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    owner operator bobcat"s and dump truck"s
    San Diego
    Excellent follow up on a very tragic but preventable death. In this case no seat belt was available, sad. All operators on any machine should have this as a reminder. It is safer to stay in a machine as it is being overturned. Install and wear safety belts at all times. If he had one to wear and was wearing it he would be alive today. RIP
  6. Mjrdude1

    Mjrdude1 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Wichita, Ks
    Very sorry to hear of this. My condolences to his family and those affected by his death. :(
  7. dirtdobber1

    dirtdobber1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    Oxford MS
    Very sad situation. Let us all remember:

    Yesterday is history...
    Tommorrow is a mystery....
    Today is a gift from God. That's why its called the present.