Tayside and Central Scotland

Chicken farm fined £10,000 after worker hit by forklift

A poultry company has been fined £10,000 after a worker was run over by a forklift at a Denny chicken farm.

Ian Stewart, 43, suffered "serious injuries" when he was struck by the vehicle at Blaefaulds Poultry Farm on 18 December 2013.

Farm owners Aviagen Ltd admitted they had not provided workers with high-visibility clothing despite them working in the dark.

Mr Stewart, 43, was in hospital until January and still uses a walking stick.

An 11-man crew had started work at 05:00 on the day in question, loading chickens onto a lorry.

The Health and Safety Executive was called in to investigate after Mr Stewart, who had 15 years of experience with the firm, was struck by the forklift while working at the rear of the lorry.

He suffered a broken ankle and a damaged pelvis, and remained in hospital through the New Year.

'Tragic consequences'

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that the forklift driver was unable to see Mr Stewart as he was not wearing high-visibility clothing, and turning on all of the vehicle's lights would have "caused stress to the birds".

Aviagen pleaded guilty to failing to make a suitable risk assessment, failing to ensure employees were segregated from vehicles and failing to provide high-visibility clothing.

The Warwickshire firm has since carried out a risk assessment of the site, installed additional lighting and fixed safety barriers, and distributed high-visibility clothing to all staff.

Fining them £10,000, Sheriff William Gallacher said he was "astonished" no high-visibility clothing had been distributed, and said there had been "tragic consequences".

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