Failure to adequately maintain a hoist and not to have a safe system of work in the event of its failure led to breakages in both legs of a worker struck by a falling load (from the hoist).
The court heard (13th November) the injured worker had been part of a team cleaning the area around a metal skip track at an asphalt plant when the track had been lifted into the air by a hoist to allow cleaning underneath. The hoist jammed in the raised position and as the worker attempted to free it using a manual ratchet to pull down on the hoist, the hook gave way and the track fell, hitting his legs. The worker was in hospital for a week and unable to work for six months.
The company pleaded guilty to breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Section 2(1) 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.”
Investigation and Enforcement was by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive.