June 11, 2019

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In court

Tesla Engineering worker hit and killed by gantry crane

Tesla Engineering Ltd, a superconducting electromagnet company, has been sentenced after a worker was fatally hit and crushed by an overhead gantry crane.

On 23 March 2018 Dr Craig McEwan, 34, a unit manager of Tesla Engineering Ltd, died while undertaking the making of a super conducting magnet coil at the Water Lane Industrial Estate, Storrington, Sussex. Dr McEwan was working on top of a tank when he became caught between a moving gantry crane and a metal chimney on the top of the tank.

The HSE’s investigation found that Tesla Engineering Ltd had failed to implement measures to prevent a person from being hit by the overhead gantry crane. A chimney extension had recently been fitted to a tank and increased the height workers had to access , thereby putting workers at a height where they could come into contact with the overhead gantry crane. However, no measures had been put in place to ensure that the gantry crane could not be operated while workers were in an area where they could come into contact with the crane.

Tesla Engineering Limited, of Water Lane Industrial Park, Storrington pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £400,000 with costs of £7,546.72.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Russell Beckett commented: “Tesla Engineering adapted the work process it carried out but failed to review its planning or to take measures to ensure that workers could not be hit by the moving overhead gantry crane. Simple measures to either lock out the crane or to prevent workers accessing dangerous areas could have been implemented but were not, which ultimately led to Dr McEwan losing his life.”

Barbour download: Guide to working at height

Work at any height can cause injury; a fall from a height of just one or two steps can cause serious injury.

The Regulations were amended in 2007 to extend their application to those who work at height providing instruction or leadership to one or more people engaged in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities in Great Britain.

Download your free guide from Barbour to understand: Duties of persons in control of work at height; Duties of persons undertaking work at height; General controls when working at height; Method statement for work at height; Selection of a means of access; Working platforms; Guardrails and toeboards; Ladders Mobile work platforms; Suspended access equipment; Personal suspension equipment and, Inspection of fall arrest equipment.

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