He suffered catastrophic chest injuries
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A "lovely" dad died after the forklift he was driving hit a kerb and he was crushed underneath it, an inquest has heard.
Jamie Anderson died on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at the Barcode Warehouse in Newark at the age of 35.
Mr Anderson, from Newark, was described as a "very, very skilled" forklift driver, who was fully qualified but may not have been wearing his seat belt at the time of the incident, an inquest was told.
The inquest heard there was no company policy requiring Barcode Warehouse forklift drivers to wear their seatbelts at the time of the incident.
An inquest into Mr Anderson's death was held at the Council House in Nottingham on Tuesday, March 8.
His partner said he had an early night on the Monday evening and seemed "fresh faced" when he arrived at her address the following morning.
After she made him his lunch for the day, he had then cycled into work, setting off at around 7.45am.
Mr Anderson had clocked in at the warehouse on Telford Drive 13 minutes later at 7.58am on June 4 and began doing his normal work.
After working for about 90 minutes, taking cages full of waste back and forth along the site, he was bringing back an empty cage when his off-side wheel hit a kerb, the inquest was told.
Mr Anderson left the seat he was in as the forklift toppled to the floor and became trapped. He suffered catastrophic chest injuries and died instantly at around 9.30am.
A pathologist listed his cause of death as from multiple injuries, confirming there was no evidence he had suffered any kind of medical episode while operating the forklift.
A post mortem reported multiple fractures across his ribs and spine, along with a haemorrhage throughout his chest, all consistent with being trapped and crushed underneath the heavy machine.
Colleagues told the inquest in statements read out to a jury that there was no policy on wearing seat belts and that it was a personal preference on whether to wear one or not.
One told the inquest that Mr Anderson chose to not wear the seatbelt. Since the incident, seatbelts are mandatory when operating forklifts at the Barcode Warehouse, according to its employees.
One co-worker, who was working at the time of the accident and saw the truck on his side, recalled: "I immediately shouted 'there's someone under there'.
"I ran downstairs and went outside - I remember it was really quiet. I ran towards him and as I got closer I saw Jamie.
"I shouted for help and said 'he's dead, he's under the truck'.
"I fell to my knees, I felt weak and was in complete shock. I can't believe what has happened to him and how it happened. He can't have been wearing his seatbelt."
Another colleague said of Mr Anderson: "He was a decent man - I did not have any problems with him or his work."
When asked if Mr Anderson was wearing his seat belt at the time of the incident, production manager at Barcode Warehouse Matthew Nicholson told the proceedings: "I don't know."
He confirmed he wouldn't say anything if he saw someone not wearing their seat belt as it wasn't company policy - the forklift Mr Anderson was driving did have a working one on offer.
Indeed, risk assessments did not even mention the wearing of seat belts.
Since the incident, seat belts are now mandatory and all kerbs have been removed from the area. The inquest was shown CCTV footage of the moment the forklift being operated by Mr Anderson toppled over.
An inspection of the forklift found there were no mechanical defects that would have contributed to the incident.
Mr Anderson first arrived at the company as an agency worker back in November 2018, before being offered a permanant position a few months later.
He had previous experience working in a demolition job, but still underwent a training course on how to operate the forklift.
Assistant Coroner Laurinda Bower said: "He was very well regarded by his colleagues and was seen as a very competent and able driver."
Barcode Warehouse is described as a well-established company, with two sites which are both located in Newark.
Mr Anderson's family attended the inquest along with legal representatives on behalf of Barcode Warehouse, Mr Anderson's former manager and a representative from the Health and Safety Executive.
An 11 person jury was sworn in at the Council House at the beginning of proceedings.
An inquest is being held as Mr Anderson died an unnatural death as it was deemed a workplace accident.
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