Tool company fined after employee sustains fatal head injuries

Cheltenham Tool Company Limited has been fined after an employee was fatally injured while moving heavy machinery.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard how on 13 November 2019, 57-year-old Ian Challinor, a maintenance engineer at the company, was working with colleagues to move a large and heavy milling machine using a forklift and machine-moving skates. During the work at the site on Swindon Road, Cheltenham, the machine became unstable and toppled onto him causing fatal head injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to assess and plan the task of moving the machine to determine a safe system of work, provide clear instructions to the workers and supervise the activity. In addition, the skates used were not adequately maintained or subject to a suitable inspection programme to ensure that they were safe to use.

Cheltenham Tool Company Limited of Swindon Road, Cheltenham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,033.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Annette Walker said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to ensure that this one-off task could be undertaken in a safe manner.

“The lifting and movement of heavy machinery is a specialist and often complex task requiring significant planning, expertise, knowledge and specialist equipment to ensure the risks are controlled.”

Ian Challinor

 

Notes to Editors:

1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. 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

4. For more information on how to work safely with machinery, please visit: https://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/