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Firm in court after worker requires toe amputation

Date:
14 February 2014

A Northamptonshire engineering firm has been fined after a worker sustained a serious foot injury when lifting equipment failed at company premises in Bletchley, Milton Keynes.

The worker, who does not wish to be named, was struck by a falling 400kg die that was being transported across a tool room at Alumasc Precision Ltd on 18 May 2012.

Although the top half of the die was secured to the crane by eye bolts, the bottom half was secured only by a G-clamp. As it was being moved, the bottom half fell away and struck the worker on the left foot.

Two of his toes, including his big toe, were so severely injured they had to be amputated. He was unable to work for several months, although has since returned to work for the company.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard today (14 February) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified concerns with the lifting operation.

The incident could have been prevented with the use of a robust strap fitted across both halves of the die to prevent the two halves from becoming detached.

The court was told the company could and should have done more to ensure the lift was safe.

Alumasc Precision Ltd, registered at Station Road, Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northants, was fined a total of £6,500 and ordered to pay £9,554 costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the case, HSE Inspector Karl Howes said:

“This employee has suffered a severe and needless injury that could have been avoided if the right accessories had been used.

“Companies must adequately plan and organise all lifting operations – including consideration of the lifting accessories that are being used, and assessments on how lifts are carried out.”

For more information and guidance about how to prevent injuries when carrying out lifting procedures visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/loler.htm

 Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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. Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is— (a) properly planned by a competent person; (b) appropriately supervised; and (c) carried out in a safe manner.”
  3. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press

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