A specialist metal manufacturer company was fined by a Magistrates’ Court (1 October) following enforcement action by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) when an employee was struck by a container as it swung from an overhead crane, and injured.
The Magistrates’ Court heard the worker, a 50-year-old local man, had been using an overhead travelling crane, which runs along rails on the factory roof, to lift an open-sided container carrying more than 50 long metal tubes. As he lifted the 300kg container, known as a stillage, the tubes slid out, which caused it to swing in the opposite direction. It struck the worker and broke his right leg in two places.
The HSE investigation found two plate clamps had been used in diagonally opposite corners of the stillage, which meant it became unstable when it was lifted.
The court was told the company should have found another way of moving the metal tubes using appropriate work equipment, so that workers were not put at risk. The fact that the stillage was open-sided meant that there was a high risk of the tubes sliding out when it was lifted.
Section 2(1) 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.”
Here is the HSE Press Release.