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July 7, 2011

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Worker hit by falling crates suffered permanent brain damage

A judge has criticised a meat-processing company for not carrying out a sufficient risk assessment after a number of crates fell on to a pallet-truck driver.

Laganside Crown Court, in Belfast, heard that the incident took place at Lindon Foods Ltd’s meat-processing plant at Granville Industrial Estate in Dungannon on 25 February 2010.

Lucas Da Costa, 33, was a general operative at the facility and, on the day of the incident, he had been asked to move some crates, which contained packaged meat, across the factory. The crates were usually stacked on pallets that were 1.2 metres in length and one metre deep. But earlier that day some of the crates were stacked on pallets that were 0.8 metres in depth.

The smaller pallets were placed in front of the regular-size pallets, and Mr Da Costa had not been told that they differed in size. He began lifting one of the front stacks with an electric pallet truck but the vehicle’s forks were longer than the pallet. Consequently, when he raised the forks they knocked another stack and caused a number of crates to fall on him. He suffered serious head injuries, which the court heard, have left him in a near-vegative state, and he now resides in a care home

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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