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PRE-CAST CONCRETE PANEL FATALITY

Workman crushed during unsafe lifting operation with telehandler

A workman assisting in construction of a hay shed perimeter wall died when the a pre-cast concrete panel weighing more than one tonne fell and crushed him.

He died from his injuries at the scene and his employer has now been prosecuted.

No suitable lifting attachment provided on telehandler

Hamilton Farmers (East Lothian) have been fined £20k  pleading guilty to an offence HSW Act Section 2(1) Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE investigation found that a suitable risk assessment had not been carried out for the work.

A telescopic handler was being used with lifting tackle that was in good order. However, a suitable lifting attachment was not used making it inevitable that the slings on the telehandler forks would slip thereby losing control of the load.

The investigation also revealed that suspending the concrete panel from lifting slings supported by the forks did not allow the panel to rotate freely as it would have done if supported by another device such as a crane hook.

Have a go” farmers may not be competent constructors

Following the case, HSE Inspector Gillian McLean said: “Tragically this worker was needlessly crushed to death because his employers failed to properly assess the risks and implement a safe system of work. Unfortunately, the use of precast concrete panels to build farm buildings is common place.”

“It is also common place for farmers and workers in the agricultural sector to ‘have a go’ at building constructions when they are not properly trained or equipped in structural engineering and health and safety practices.”

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