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July 20, 2021

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Tool company fined after employee sustains fatal head injuries

Cheltenham Tool Company Limited has been fined after an employee was fatally injured while moving heavy machinery.

57-year-old Ian Challinor, a maintenance engineer at the company, was working with colleagues to move a large and heavy milling machine using a forklift and machine-moving skates, on 13 November 2019. During the work at the site on Swindon Road, Cheltenham, the machine became unstable and toppled onto him causing fatal head injuries.

Investigating, the HSE found that the company had failed to:

  • Assess and plan the task of moving the machine to determine a safe system of work.
  • Provide clear instructions to the workers.
  • Supervise the activity.

In addition, the skates used were not adequately maintained or subject to a suitable inspection programme to ensure that they were safe to use.

Cheltenham Tool Company Limited of Swindon Road, Cheltenham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,033.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Annette Walker said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to ensure that this one-off task could be undertaken in a safe manner.

“The lifting and movement of heavy machinery is a specialist and often complex task requiring significant planning, expertise, knowledge and specialist equipment to ensure the risks are controlled.”

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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