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LORRY MOUNTED CRANE CLAMP CRUSHED CO-WORKER

Trained operator prosecuted after misuse of equipment ends in disaster 

An experienced lorry loader operator has been prosecuted after another worker was crushed in the brick clamp of the lorry loader causing serious internal injuries.

On 18 November 2010, Mark Pratten, 53, a lorry loader operator working for Jewson Builders Merchant used the brick clamp to lift Peter Hoy from the roof of a cabin whilst he was collecting building materials from a construction site in Rode, Somerset.

The pallet of materials being collected were located behind a 2.5m wall.  Mr Hoy climbed onto the roof of a cabin to guide Mr Pratten and to dismount Mr Pratten proceeded to lift him with the brick clamp.

Mr Hoy walked between the arms of the clamp to gain a foot or hand hold as Mr Pratten proceeded to move the clamp arms. However, he inadvertently operated the clamp button and arms clamped Mr Hoy’s waist. He suffered a fractured pelvis and crush-related internal injuries, including nerve damage. He is still off work.

Workman fell far short of appropriate standard of behaviour

HSE investigators concluded that Mr Pratten fell far short of the appropriate standard required of a lorry loader operator in using the lorry loader in an unsafe manner. Mr Pratten was fully trained to use the lorry loaders and had more than 20 years’ experience in doing so. He was familiar with the machine controls and aware of fact that the brick clamp was not suitable for lifting people.

Mark Pratten pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 of the HSW Act 1974 and was fined £1,500 with £1,000 costs.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE inspector Helena Tinton said:

“Even if the clamp had not been activated, attempting to lift Mr Hoy down from the cabin roof with a brick clamp was in no way safe. Two people’s lives have been seriously affected in this incident.

Mr Hoy is still suffering from health problems related to his internal injuries and does not yet know when he will be able to return to work. Mr Pratten has lost his job after this action which went against all his training and years of experience.”

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One Response to “LORRY MOUNTED CRANE CLAMP CRUSHED CO-WORKER”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 21st DECEMBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Mark Pratten – caused lifting person with lorry loader: £1,500. […]