Crane didn’t have stabilising mechanism in place…
A worker was seriously injured after he was thrown from a lorry while unloading materials and hit by barrels and tubes after the lorry overturned.
The 54-year-old accident victim suffered a broken pelvis and ankle in the incident at Bryntirion, Mountain Ash, on 15 August 2011.
The man had been helping the driver of the vehicle to unload some scaffolding material when the accident occurred. He was standing at the back of the lorry when it became unstable and tipped to one side throwing him from the rear of the vehicle. As the man landed, the lorry load of barrels and tubes and other scaffolding equipment fell on top of him.
Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court was told that the lorry became unstable as a result of an unused piece of equipment on the crane. Normally the crane extended a stabilising outrigger from the vehicle in order to maintain balance but on this occasion it was not used.
The accident victim has not been able to work since the incident as he recuperates from the injuries he sustained in the fall.
The subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the driver was responsible for the lorry and was therefore culpable for not using the stabilising outrigger that might well have prevented the accident. The HSE have special guidelines in place so that issues related to driver safety and pedestrian safety in industries that commonly use vehicles can have the necessary safety protocols in place to prevent accidents.
The driver pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
HSE Inspector David Kirkpatrick spoke after the hearing:
“The accident victim sustained serious injuries in this incident, and could easily have been crushed and killed by the lorry when it toppled over.
“Operators of vehicle mounted cranes must ensure the safety of people they are working with by using the equipment in the proper manner.
“Had the extending outriggers been use for their intended purpose then the incident could have been avoided. It was wholly preventable on that basis.”
“Health and Safety News” updates newsletter, click here. The new ‘Health and Safety News’ section on our web site is updated daily with new, up to the minute stories. The stories are also released via Twitter – why not follow us on Twitter? and receive new stories as and when they happen?