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Raleigh guilty over Nottingham forklift truck death

Category: England

Published: 12th May 2010 15:38:47

Bicycle company Raleigh has pleaded guilty to health and safety lapses which led to the death of a forklift truck driver at its Nottingham depot.

John Whittington, 59, of Wollaton, was hit by a falling girder when part of his forklift truck struck a door frame at the Eastwood site in September 2007.

The firm admitted at Nottingham Crown Court to failing to ensure the health and safety of Mr Whittington.

An inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death in 2008.

Fine expected

The inquest was told Mr Whittington was driving the truck with the forks in a raised position when he hit the doorway, knocking down girders and rubble.

Although no-one saw the accident it was thought the fork lift driver took a pallet of bags to a storage rack and forgot to lower the mast as he returned for another load, the inquest heard.

He died from his injuries after being airlifted to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Raleigh, which was founded in Nottingham 120 years ago, had earlier denied a charge of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees and another of failing to carry out a sufficient risk assessment.

But following legal submissions the company changed its pleas to guilty.

Judge John Milmow QC adjourned the hearing for sentencing on 17 May when the company is expected to be fined.

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