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Worker crushed by metal frame

Date:
30 June 2016

An engineering company has been fined after a worker suffered serious crush injuries when a large metal frame fell on him during a lifting operation.

Maidstone Crown Court heard how K&G Maintenance Services Limited was constructing four metal frames. During the full welding of the final frame it fell from the lift which had been set up to allow it to be manoeuvred.

The frame fell when the sling came away from the chain block hook while the frame was being manoeuvred and trapped the welder beneath it. The employee sustained crush injuries which fractured his spine causing serious life debilitating back injuries and has left him permanently paralysed from the waist down

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident which occurred on 8 August 2014 found that the lift had not been effectively planned as the chain block used was not suitable for a non vertical lift.  In addition the chain block was badly damaged and had been identified in May 2014 within the sites lifting equipment thorough examination report (LOLER) as being stretched and that it should ‘be removed from use immediately’ had been used.

The investigation found that K & G did not have effective systems in place to ensure ‘immediately dangerous’ lifting equipment were quarantined and not easily accessible by members of staff to use.

K & G Maintenance Services Limited, of Underlyn Lane, Marden, Tonbridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,181.

HSE inspector Joanne Williams said after the hearing: “This serious accident which resulted in life changing injuries was completely preventable and clearly demonstrated the need to ensure lifting operations are properly planned and managed.  If suitable equipment had been provided to the employees and had the defective equipment been removed from the workshop then this incident should not have happened.”

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. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk