Employees had no experience in lifting machinery using chains…
A scrap metal company has been prosecuted after a bus that was being lifted onto a truck collided with him inflicting significant injury.
The 49 year-old accident victim was temporarily crushed against a wall before the bus pulled back in the other direction releasing him although by that stage he had suffered fractures to his ribs and pelvis.
The accident occurred on 6 December 2011 at an Industrial Estate in Penygarnddu, Wales after employees at the scrap metal firm had been loading the three and a half tonne bus onto another truck in order to transport it to the nearby scrap yard.
Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates heard that the workers had initially planned to use an excavator to raise the front end of the bus and a forklift truck to lift the rear end with the intention of enabling the truck’s loading platform to reverse under it. However while lifting the front end of the bus using chains attached to the excavator, the bus suddenly swung outwards and struck one of the employees.
The court was informed that the work had not been planned adequately and that none of the workers had received any kind of training on how to safely lift vehicles using chains. HSE officials stated that If they had been aware of safety protocols for this kind of work then they would have ensured that no employee was in the proximity of the lifting procedure and at risk of being injured if the operation didn’t go to plan.
The scrap metal company was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay an additional £8,912 in costs after admitting a breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
HSE Inspector Dean Baker spoke after the hearing:
“The accident victim suffered painful fractures to his pelvis and ribs, but his injuries could easily have been more serious or even fatal.
“The bus could have been lifted by simply using the grab on the excavator, but the company overcomplicated it by using two vehicles and not positioning the chains safely.
“Had the work had been properly planned by the scrap metal company, and had workers been given proper training on lifting vehicles, then the incident could have been avoided.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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