Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

July 2, 2015

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Firm fined after worker is seriously injured by crane

Leeds Galvanising & Powder Coating Hire Ltd, a metal finishing company, has been fined after a worker broke two ribs, fractured his pelvis and punctured a lung while undertaking lifting works at, Albion Business Park, in March 2014.

Due to the seriousness of his injuries, he was off work for nine months and had to undergo six months of physiotherapy.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that the injured man was one of three workers in the fettling area of the site. One employee was operating a pendant controlled semi-goliath overhead crane and he began to lower a loaded jig to the ground.

As the metal products made contact with the floor in the vertical position it lifted the left end of the jig off the hook. The hook had not been provided with a safety catch. The end of the jig came free and swung down hitting one of the other employees.

The court also heard HSE investigated a similar incident at the same site 14 September 2011, following which the company was told to re-instate the safety catches on a semi-goliath overhead crane.

Since the 2011 incident, the use of safety catches lapsed. The company admitted to not providing safety catches for the lifting hooks on the crane involved in the 2014 incident.

Leeds Galvanising & Powder Coating Ltd, of Albion Works, Albion Business Park, Armley Road, Leeds, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £13,000, with full costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Kate Dixon said: “Lifting operations can put workers at serious risk of injury if they’re not carried out properly, as well as incurring significant costs when they go wrong. It is therefore important to provide suitable equipment for the task, and properly plan lifting operations before work commences to ensure it is done safely.

“In this case the accident was easily preventable. By failing to provide lifting equipment with working safety catches, a worker suffered serious injuries and other employees were also put at risk.”

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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