On 22 November a national manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products was fined £1.2 million after the death of a visiting HGV driver at one of the company’s premises.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how an agency driver was delivering kitchen worktops to a Howden Joinery site in Workington when he was crushed to death as a forklift truck (FLT) overturned whilst lifting kitchen worktops from the trailer of the HGV.

An investigation into the incident that took place on 10 November 2014 found the FLT had been overloaded and that visiting delivery drivers were not kept at a safe distance from the loading and unloading operations.

Howden Joinery of Portman Square, London, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £33,902.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “This tragic incident could have been avoided if Howden Joinery had implemented a safe procedure to ensure that pedestrians were kept at a safe distance during loading and unloading work.

“Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”