A worker (a carpenter) suffered skull and leg fractures when the section of a mock log cabin set (to be used as scenery at a theatre) toppled from a forklift truck and pinned him to the ground at the workshop.
The largest section of the wheeled base, which was secured on to a forklift truck by a ratchet strap, was loaded onto the lorry without falling. However, when one of two smaller 300 kg sections was put on the forks it was not secured. When it was lifted, the section unbalanced and fell from the forks, landing on top of the worker.
After the hearing, the Inspector from Britain’s Health and Safety Executive said:
“This case highlights the need to properly plan and supervise lifting tasks. This worker was fortunate to make a full recovery, but the weight of these loads – 300 to 600kg – means that this could easily have had fatal or life-changing consequences. Safety with forklift trucks is dependent on proper planning and the selection of the right lifting accessories. If the need arises to lift something excessively heavy or awkwardly shaped, firms must ensure their employees don’t go ahead until they have all the correct equipment they need to do it safely.”
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 properly planned by a competent person; appropriately supervised; and carried out in a safe manner.
The HSE has information and advice on safe lifting, at http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/planning-organising-lifting-operations.htm.
The HSE Press Release is here.