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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Organic dairy fined over safety
Rachel's Organic production line
The company produces a range of organic dairy products
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning companies to be vigilant when it comes to staff safety after a food firm was fined in court.

Rachel's Organic, in Aberystwyth, has been fined 3,250 and ordered to pay costs of 2,673 after a worker was hit by a forklift truck and broke a leg.

The dairy company admitted a charge under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

It said it had taken steps to "tighten the practices in this area".

Employee Wayne Mountford also suffered broken bones in his feet and toes when he was hit by a forklift truck at the firm's plant.

The HSE said Mr Mountford was moving items from one warehouse to another when the accident happened.

'Deeply regret'

HSE inspector Steve Jones said: "Where possible pedestrians should be prohibited from entering areas in which forklift trucks are operating.

"Employers have a responsibility to ensure areas where vehicles are operating are well managed to avoid accidents like this.

"Being hit by moving vehicles is one of the main causes of accident and injury in the workplace."

Neil Burchell, managing director of Rachel's Organic, said Mr Mountford had made a full recovery.

"We deeply regret the incident and fully recognise that, although we have a very good safety record, on this occasion our safety procedures were not followed," he added.

"The company took immediate steps to tighten the practices in this area.

"We have since worked very closely with the HSE to ensure that the highest safety standards are met and appropriate processes are adhered to by employees at all times."

The firm's range of dairy products, such as yogurt, is sold in a variety of supermarkets.

According to the HSE, in 2004-05 deaths involving vehicles at work totalled 70 in the UK.

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