Pizza maker admits safety breach after factory accident

Dr Oetker, Leyland
Dr Oetker, Leyland

A pizza maker has admitted failing to obey safety laws, after a man was hit by a fork lift truck and suffered serious crush injuries at their Leyland site

Dr Oetker, which makes the Ristorante and Chicago brands, is being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

The firm admitted breaching safety legislation at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Jeff Brailsford was handed a prosecution case summary about an April 2015 incident at the firm’s Comet Road site in Moss Side.

It says Gary Beck, an employee of Recycling Lives, was struck by a fork lift. Recycling Lives has a contract to collect waste from Dr Oekter and was on the site to pick up a load.

HGV driver Mr Beck was to pick up empty metal drums fastened to a pallet by stretch-wrap. He reported to the site office and was told where to park.

The prosecution summary says as the driver of the fork lift truck started to load a pallet, Mr Beck was struck and his legs became trapped and crushed by the reversing truck.

He suffered severe injuries and was in hospital for 15 days and underwent three operations. He can no longer drive an HGV, the judge was told.

The Health and Safety Executive said that Mr Beck was exposed to risk as were other drivers coming to the site, because of failure to control vehicle and pedestrian movement.

HSE added that visiting drivers should remain in their cabs while loading takes place.

Since the incident, the pizza company, which employs 300 staff in Lancashire, has taken significant steps to improve segregation of vehicles and pedestrians. New risk assessments are in force and a barrier and fenced area installed.

Drivers must now wait in a room while their vehicles are being loaded by company fork lifts. Dr Oetker will be sentenced at a later date at Preston Magistrates Court.