The steel specialist was fined over the death of a forklift truck operator


Severfield has been fined over the death of a forklift truck operator after the truck he was operating overturned. However, the offence to which the company pleaded guilty was not a significant cause of the fatal accident.

Teesside Crown Court heard how 27-year-old Kelvin McGibbon was reversing the forklift truck when it struck some steps causing it to overturn. McGibbon was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered crush injuries which proved fatal.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 13 March 2013 found that Severfield failed to manage forklift truck driving operations as the firm did not enforce the wearing of seat-belts or control the speed at which some FLT operators drove their trucks.

Severfield pleaded guilty to a non-causative breach of Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and was fined £135,000 and ordered to pay costs of £46,020.

HSE inspector David Welsh said after the hearing: “Sadly, in this case, the prosecution shows that the company’s management of FLT driving operations and risk control measures failed with tragic consequences for Mr McGibbon and his family.”

A Severfield spokesperson said: “We would like to again express our deepest condolences to Kelvin’s family and friends for his loss. 

“It was today accepted by the Court and the HSE that the offence to which the Company pleaded guilty did not cause this tragic accident but that there were aspects of the company’s operations on its Dalton site that could have been improved. In determining the appropriate fine for this offence, the Court accepted that these improvements were immediately made after the accident.

“As the court recognised, Severfield takes health and safety very seriously and it is our number one priority to ensure the safety of our employees in everything that we do.

“This has been a long and painful process for all involved and our thoughts remain with Kelvin’s family and friends.”