Warehouse worker died after being crushed by pallets, inquest hears

Culina CEO Steve Winwood paid tribute to Mr Klementjevs Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The Culina Logistics warehouse where Mr Klementjevs died - Credit: Google

Workers at a Haverhill warehouse have told an inquest how they saw their colleague being crushed by pallets after a forklift collision.

Dzintars Klementjevs, 44, had been called to clean up a spillage at the Culina Logistics warehouse at Haverhill Business Park on November 22, 2018, Suffolk Coroners' Court heard on Monday.

The hearing was told Mr Klementjevs, a cleaner who had been with the firm for six years, died after a scrubbing cleaning machine he was operating collided with a forklift - causing a "large amount" of pallets to fall down.

The inquest, which is being held before a 10-person jury, was shown CCTV footage of the narrow aisles of the warehouse, which is used to store chilled foods.

Colleague Virginijus Galkus said he was operating a VNA (very narrow aisle) truck, a type of forklift used in warehouses, when there was a collision between his vehicle and Mr Klementjevs’ machine.

Speaking with the help of an interpreter, he said: "The truck moved sideways because of the weight and all the pallets started falling down."

Mr Galkus said he saw a “large amount” of pallets falling down, adding that he was “in shock”.

Fellow VNA driver Vitalis Bicans told the hearing he had seen Mr Klementjevs on the morning of the incident.

Also speaking through an interpreter, Mr Bicans said he called over Mr Klementjevs after an item fell from a vehicle he was driving fell over and spilled on the warehouse floor.

Most Read

Mr Klementjevs then arrived on the cleaning machine, which Mr Bicans described as "not very large" and small enough to fit in the aisle.

After stepping back briefly, Mr Bicans recalled seeing "everything falling down".

He said: "When I was moving pallets, one of them was not wrapped and fell on the floor. 

"I was standing waiting for him to finish his work. Then everything came down. I don't know how it happened.

"I stood where I was. I saw everything falling down."

Mr Bicans said he saw Mr Klementjevs try to jump from the cleaning machine, which he said did not have a roof.

The inquest, which is listed for three days, continues.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter