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Crane hire firm fined for safety failings

Date:
11 September 2013

A Bridgend crane hire firm has been fined for failing to make adequate provisions for safe work at height.

Pyle-based RW Christopher Crane Hire Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified issues with risk assessments and systems of work; and the availability of suitable fall arrest or restraint equipment.

Inspectors also found there was no training or instruction given to workers required to operate at height, and the company was lacking basic procedures and policies covering such work.

The failings came to light after HSE attended an incident in Cardiff on 1 October 2012. During stowing of a mobile crane jib by RW Christopher Crane Hire Ltd employees, it fell and hit a colleague who was working close to the crane, causing injuries to his back and ribs.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (10 September) that there was no evidence to link the company’s failings to the incident.

RW Christopher Crane Hire Ltd, of Village Farm Road, Pyle, Bridgend, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,904 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Richardson, said:

“Falls from height account for over half of all fatal incidents in the construction industry. Work at height on cranes is recognised by the industry as being high risk and must be carefully planned and properly managed by trained and competent people with the correct equipment.”

For more information and advice about working at height in the construction industry visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/campaigns/fallstrips/height.htm

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Section 2(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees,  including in particular:
    1. the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;
    2. arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
    3. the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;
    4. so far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
    5. the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.”

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