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WORKMAN CATAPULTED FROM TELEHANDLER BUCKET

Dismantling operation involved work from an ‘unsuitable attachment’

Ness Engineering Ltd of Shetland has been fined after a worker was severely injured when he fell while dismantling a redundant aerial mast on 23 August 2010.

David Thomson, aged 22, was working as part of a team removing a mast at a former RAF remote radar head. He and colleagues were working from inside the mast unbolting sections of metal and wood and loading them into a telehandler with a bucket attachment.

The men encountered difficulty unbolting sections and stood in the bucket attachment to unbolt and remove sections from the outside. It was during this procedure that a section of metal caught the back of Mr Thomson’s boiler suit ‘catapulting’ him out of the bucket to the ground below. He suffered multiple fractures and was off work for nine weeks.

Attachment on telehandler not suitable for transporting people

HSE investigators found that the Ness Engineering Ltd risk assessment for the dismantling operation did not include use the bucket attachment on the telehandler nor mast access from the outside. The company of Virkie, Shetland pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 and was fined £26,700.

HSE Inspector Alan MacKinnon said:

“The bucket attachment on the telehandler was not suitable for transporting people and as soon as Ness Engineering allowed their employees to be lifted up in it, the risk assessment they had carried out became meaningless.

“It was entirely foreseeable that there was a risk of either the men or the metal falling from the bucket, yet the company did nothing to ensure they had the right equipment on site to allow Mr Thomson and his colleague to carry out their work safely.”

Comment

Telehandlers are primarily intended for lifting materials and not people. However, they can be used with working platforms to allow people to work at height. The safest way to use a telehandler as a working platform is with an integrated working platform with the vehicle capable of operation from the working platform. If a non-integrated platform is used it must meet the HSE standard.

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One Response to “WORKMAN CATAPULTED FROM TELEHANDLER BUCKET”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT UPDATE 30th NOVEMBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Ness Engineering Limited – telescopic handler: £26700; […]