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CONCRETE PUMPING MACHINE DEFECT LED TO AMPUTATION

Pump supplier and user prosecuted over failure to prevent access to danger

O’Neill Concrete Pumping Ltd and Transcrete (GB) Ltd have been fined for safety failings after an employee lost three fingers and part of his thumb whilst using a concrete pump in February 2010.

The injured man cleaned the hopper by lifting the automatic locking hopper grille when part of the pumping mechanism moved and and crushed his fingers. He was taken to hospital and had three fingers and part of his thumb amputated leaving him traumatised by his injuries.

Telford Magistrates heard that Transcrete (GB) Ltd supplied the concrete pump to O’Neill Concrete Pumping Ltd with defects found with the machine supplied and failed to ensure effective measures were taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of the hopper of the lorry-mounted concrete pump. Transcrete failed to ensure that it was designed to be safe when it was being cleaned or maintained.

Compliant machine and simple safety checks would prevented incident

O’Neill Concrete Pumping Ltd, of the West Midlands, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £3,000 with costs of £2,000.

Transcrete (GB) Ltd, of Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to ensure the concrete pump supplied was safe between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2006. They were fined £4,000 with costs of £2,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Guy Dale said:

“The employee will see his injuries every day and have to change the way he lives for the rest of his life. A safe, compliant machine and simple safety checks would have meant the incident would never have occurred.

Both the supplier and user of the machine had a duty to ensure they were safe and that the critical parts were assessed and the appropriate measures were taken.”

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