A Welsh based steel firm has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety at work legislation and was fined a total of £112,500 and ordered to pay £96,000 in costs by Cardiff Crown Court.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) held an investigation into how a 37-year-old father of one was crushed by a two tonne steel beam at a Cardiff warehouse. The incident occurred in June 2012.
The HSE told the court that the employee was working alone moving H beam columns which were stacked ready to be put on a conveyor belt, which then fed a computer controlled saw.
The worker was using an overhead crane to move the beams. The court was told that two wooden bearers were placed in between the columns to enable the worker to gain access and attach hoist chains. In doing so, the columns collapsed and crushed the employee. He died at the scene.
The court heard that no safe systems of work were in place and the worker had not received any training in performing this task.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Dean Baker said:
“The company did not adequately plan the work that [the worker] was tasked with and expected a number of employees to separate large steel columns at waist height.”
“They should have identified the risk of these columns falling and ensured that the columns were separated at floor level or in a suitable rack. Had the lifting operation been properly planned and appropriately supervised and employees given adequate training, [the worker]would still be alive.”