Cornwall

Torpoint forklift death: Brakes 'in dangerous condition'

Andy Shattock Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Andy Shattock, from Plymouth, suffered severe crush injuries and died at the scene

A forklift truck that toppled and crushed the driver to death had faulty brakes, an inquest has heard.

Andy Shattock, 55, died when he became trapped underneath the vehicle on an industrial estate where his company was based in Torpoint, Cornwall.

Mr Shattock, from Plymouth, was reversing the vehicle down a slope when it hit a curb and rolled in July 2018.

A forensic vehicle examiner said the brakes were "clearly defective and in a dangerous condition".

Geoffrey Chapman tested the vehicle and found the brakes were "completely contaminated" with hydraulic fluid that had mixed with brake dust and turned into a paste.

He estimated the fluid would have been leaking for at least a month and found the truck had a braking efficiency of 15%.

There is no standard for forklift trucks but the minimum requirement for a car to pass an MOT is 50%, the inquest heard.

Image copyright Gayle McDonald
Image caption Eight people rushed to help Mr Shattock and used two trolley jacks to lift and move the vehicle

Two months before the accident a mechanic identified problems with the brakes while fixing hydraulic pipes.

His company provided a quote for the brakes to be replaced and the email was read, but the work never carried out.

The jury returned a conclusion of accidental death caused by a combination of mechanical failure and operator error.

'Loving husband'

In a statement after the hearing in Truro, Mr Shattock's family said he "was a loving husband, father and granddad and loved all of his family more than the world".

They also thanked those who tried to save him and said "he will be deeply missed by his family and friends".

The jury was also told Mr Shattock was a qualified forklift driver but there was no evidence he was wearing a seatbelt.

The vehicle had been thoroughly serviced 11 months earlier and was due another examination the following month.

Mr Shattock was the founder and managing director of AMS Fabrications, a company based in Torpoint that makes steel structures including fire escapes.

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