Wayne Riggall death a tragic accident after being crushed under forklift truck at Bicester printing factory – Oxford Mail
A FACTORY worker who was crushed to death by his forklift truck died in a tragic accident, a jury has ruled.
Driver Wayne Riggall died as he was pinned beneath the 3.4-tonne vehicle which appeared to have fallen on its side at Walstead Bicester printing factory, formerly known as Wyndeham.
An inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court yesterday heard evidence from the Health and Safety Executive and several factory employees, after which a jury ruled the death on July 23 last year was an accident.
The jury concluded: “Wayne Riggall died at approximately 5.55pm on July 23, 2018, at his place of work while performing his regular duties.
“The truck he was driving toppled over, crushing him beneath causing his death.
“While evidentially related to the movement of large and heavy paper reels, the exact cause of the truck toppling over cannot be determined.”
The inquest heard how dedicated worker Mr Riggall, who lived at South Street in Banbury, was tasked with collecting two long rolls of paper from a stack of eight, in preparation for printing Women’s Weekly that evening, each roll weighing roughly 1,400kg.
The task was described as ‘well within’ the truck’s weight and height limits.
CCTV showed him going into the warehouse but the incident itself was unwitnessed.
The inquest heard from Mr Riggall’s colleague Gary Nelson, a press assistant at the factory, who was the first person to discover his co-worker trapped beneath the truck shortly after 6pm.
Describing the shocking moment, Mr Nelson said he had asked Mr Riggall earlier that evening to help move one of the paper rolls. It was when he went to check on his progress that he discovered his co-worker pinned beneath the truck.
He said: “About 6pm I realised he hadn’t moved the roll so thought I would walk over… to see what he was up to.
“When I walked in I could hear the humming of the clamp but I couldn’t see it.”
Mr Nelson said he turned the corner to see the clamp truck on its side with the clamps still running.
Unable to see Mr Riggall he shouted out to him, then walked closer and found him trapped under the vehicle.
He said: “There was a cut on his head and the cab was across his chest. I have never seen anything like it before, there wasn’t anything I could do. He looked peaceful.”
The worker was pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance workers.
Colleague Mr Nelson added: “He never had issues with work, he was not a moaner, he just came in and got on with his work.”
A statement from Thames Valley Police detective constable Christ Whitewell added that the worker was found with ‘catastrophic injuries’ and that it wasn’t clear whether Mr Riggall was inside or outside the vehicle as it toppled.
A post mortem examination report concluded the cause of death to be ‘massive trauma’.
The inquest heard how it was impossible to know for sure whether Mr Riggall was wearing a seatbelt at the time, but a number of workers said it was not common to see drivers without seatbelts on.
The jury’s conclusion added: “Based on evidence it is not possible to determine whether Wayne voluntarily exited the truck prior or during it toppling.”
The final ruling was accident.
Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter added that he was satisfied any concerns raised following Mr Riggall’s death regarding seatbelts of the practice of storing paper rolls had been addressed since.
The inquest heard the factory was working within industry standards and that the forklift truck was also up to industry standards.
Walstead has since ‘beefed up’ its supervision of drivers to ensure everyone wears their seatbelts at all times as required.
Mr Salter ruled that a prevention of future deaths was not necessary.