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OPERATOR SURVIVES ‘CATAPULTING’ FROM CHERRY PICKER

MEWP operator severely injured in 4m fall in front of bus on London main road

Galliford Try Construction Limited has been prosecuted after a MEWP operator fell 4m into the path of a moving London bus which pushed him along the Euston Road causing severe injuries. The workman was engaged in snagging issues at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and Chambers which had just undergone a £103 million restoration.

Westminster Magistrates heard that two workers from the logistics team were to remove tape from the outside of an apartment window on the third floor of the residential block in the early hours of 4 March 2011.

The cherry-picker required was taken from a compound and the operator began to reverse the machine on to Euston Road. He raised the operator platform to clear the fencing and continued backing out unaware that a double-decker bus had turned into the road.

The second worker unsuccessfully signalled to stop the bus before the bus struck the operator platform causing the boom to strike a brick gate post and ‘catapulted’ the driver from the platform.

He fell to the ground in front of the still moving bus and was found under the front nearside with serious head, arm, pelvis and leg injuries. He returned to work earlier this year.

Series of unbelievable events which could have proved fatal

Galliford Try Construction Limited, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of over £16,000 after pleading guilty to two serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

HSE’s investigation found the incident could have been avoided if Galliford Try had fulfilled their duty to properly plan and supervise the work.

After the hearing (on 11 April) HSE Inspector Paul Hems said:

“This worker narrowly escaped death after a series of events which almost seem unbelievable but in fact could have proved fatal.

A 14-metres long slow-moving machine, not suitable for use on a public highway, was moved against the flow of traffic on to a three-lane road. Both workers were without high visibility clothing and there were no visible warning lights on the cherry-picker despite it being early morning and still dark which made it, and the men, effectively invisible to the bus driver.

The dangers involved using cherry-pickers are well known and yet the company failed to ensure safe movement of the vehicle between different compounds at the site. The company also failed to provide adequate and relevant information and instruction to their employees.”

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One Response to “OPERATOR SURVIVES ‘CATAPULTING’ FROM CHERRY PICKER”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 20TH JUNE 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] OPERATOR SURVIVES ‘CATAPULTING’ FROM CHERRY PICKER […]