Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

February 26, 2015

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Firm sentenced after worker is injured in complicated lifting operation

A court has heard how a 21 year-old worker from Carlisle suffered severe injuries when he was struck by the metal frame of a partially-constructed trailer chassis, weighing nearly two tonnes, which was being moved by two forklifts.

The worker, who has asked not to be named, sustained multiple cuts and fractures to his left foot and leg, and has still been unable to return to work a year on from the incident, which happened on 27 February 2014.

Tweddle Fabrications Ltd, which trades as Tweddle Engineering, was prosecuted by the HSE after an investigation found the frame had swung out of control while being lifted.
Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard that workers had been trying to lift and rotate the frame at the factory in Kirkbride near Wigton. Another employee, not involved in the lift, was walking across the factory floor when the 1.8 tonne chassis moved in an uncontrolled way and struck him.

The court was told that the company had failed to plan the work properly, despite it requiring a complicated lift using two forklift trucks. There should also have been someone responsible for supervising the lift, and measures should have been in place to ensure that other workers were kept at a safe distance away.

Tweddle Fabrications Ltd was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £501 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Steven Boyd said: “The worker still has difficulty walking almost a year after the incident but it could easily have been avoided. He wasn’t involved in the work to rotate the trailer chassis but had no way of knowing his life was being put at risk as he walked across the factory floor.

“Tweddle Fabrications had a legal responsibility to ensure that a complicated lift using two forklifts was planned properly, supervised appropriately and carried out safely but it failed to do any of this.
“This case should act as a warning to manufacturers that they risk the safety of their employees if they ignore the law, and could find themselves in court as a result.”

More information on the safe use of forklift trucks is available here.

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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