Firm fined for failure to secure platform and use ‘special’ controls
Caplin Homes Ltd has been fined after two workers fell 4m from an insecure platform balanced on the raised forks of a telehandler on a Leicestershire housebuilding project in April 2013.
Managing director Stuart Caplin decided to take some photographs of the partially completed project to record progress. To obtain a high level photograph an enclosed work platform was placed on the forks of a telehandler and raised with two men inside.
The work platform was not secured to the forks and as the telehandler extended the platform slid off the forks sending the two workers crashing to the ground.
Both men were airlifted to hospital. Jason Caplin, aged 32, was diagnosed with a fractured heel and spine compression requiring pins. He was off work for three months. Robert Coleman, aged 52, suffered a broken collarbone, collapsed lung, fractured pelvis, lacerated spleen and three broken ribs and has not yet been able to return to work.
Ill-conceived and totally preventable incident
Caplin Homes Ltd, of Stretton Road, Great Glen, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £460.
Regulation 5(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 states that every employer shall ensure that lifting equipment for lifting persons is such as to prevent a person using it being crushed, trapped or struck or falling from the carrier.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Tony Mitchell said:
“This was an ill-conceived and totally preventable incident that resulted in two people suffering significant injuries which could easily have been fatal.
Work platforms on telehandlers are not suitable for construction work unless special control systems are in place. More importantly they must be securely attached.”