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Firms fined after worker suffers multiple injuries

Date:
2 December 2014

Two companies have been fined after a lorry driver suffered multiple injuries whilst loading his lorry.

Leicester Crown Court were told that on the 26 October 2010, railway engine wheels weighing more than 2.5 tonnes each were being loaded onto the back of a lorry driven by Mark Furborough, at Brush Electrical Machines Ltd in Meadow Lane, Loughborough.

A fork lift truck was being used to load the wheels and was being driven by an employee of Brush Electrical Machines Ltd. It was fitted with a lifting beam manufactured by Keenhandle Ltd.  Halfway through the lifting operation, the beam became detached from the fork lift truck and struck Mr Furborough.

Mr Furborough who was 44 years old at the time, suffered two broken bones in his left leg, a torn ligament, a broken left wrist and a broken rib. He was off work for nine months and is no longer able to work as a lorry driver.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that Brush Electrical Machines Ltd was loading the wheels using an unsafe system of work and inappropriate equipment.

The investigation also found that Keenhandle Ltd, as supplier of the lifting beam, should have provided information and instruction to Brush Electrical Machines Ltd in its intended and safe operation, so that it would not be misused.

Brush Electrical Machines Ltd, of Arden Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect people not in their employment.

Keenhandle Ltd, of Loughborough Road, Quorn, Leicestershire, was found guilty at a trial in Leicester Crown Court in June of this year of a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect people not in their employment.

Today, (2 December) Brush Electrical Machines Ltd was fined £67,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,500. Keenhandle Ltd was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,000

After the hearing HSE inspector David Lefever said:

“This incident was entirely preventable”.

“Keenhandle Ltd failed to give the other company adequate instructions on how the equipment that they manufactured should be used and failed to assess the foreseeable risks posed by the use of the equipment”.

“Brush Electrical Machines Ltd failed to utilise a safe system of work, something which they could easily have done”.

 “The failings by both companies resulted in a man suffering painful injuries which has cost him his job as a lorry driver.”

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 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
  3.  HSE information and news releases can be accessed at: www.hse.gov.uk/press

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