Firm fined after man crushed to death in forklift truck horror

The family of a man who died after a forklift truck fell on him have spoken out after a company was fined in connection with his death. Paul Spence, 64, of Skipton, was crushed to death in an accident at car salvage yard Michael Douglas Auto Salvage in Carlisle in February 2018. The accident occurred while Paul and others at the yard, including the proprietor Michael Douglas, were loading a forklift truck on to the back of a lorry.

The forklift became unstable and fell onto Mr Spence. Mr Spence was treated by paramedics and the crew of an air ambulance. Sadly, he died at the scene.

Following the accident, Mr Spence’s family instructed specialist work place accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help them access the specialist support they require to try and overcome their ordeal. . They are now joining their legal team in warning of the consequences of employers not upholding health and safety laws. It comes after Michael Douglas Auto Salvage, the firm responsible for running the yard, was fined GBP23,000 with GBP8,000 costs.

It had previously pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The court was told that adequate lifting plans had not been put in place before the men began loading the forklift on to the lorry. Sion Kingston, the specialist work place accident lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Paul’s loved ones, said: “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for Paul’s family, losing him in such a tragic way and then having to relive it throughout the hearing.

“Through our work we sadly see the consequences that families can be left to face because of failings in health and safety. “While nothing will change what happened, it is imperative that lessons are learned and proper procedures are put in place where necessary, to ensure that similar incidents do not occur.” Paul’s daughter Maria said: “Dad was the most loving, loyal and caring husband and dad who adored his family.

“When we were told what happened our lives changed forever. While it may be nearly two years since his death the pain and hurt we continue to feel is as strong now as it was then. We think about him every day and it is still so hard to believe he is no longer part of our lives.

“We know nothing will bring Dad back and we will never forget him.

“All we can hope for now is that his death was not in vain and employers ensure they uphold the highest health and safety standards at all times.

We would not want any other families to suffer like we have.”

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