Suitable grab rather than telehandler needed to prevent injury
Powys County Council has been prosecuted after an employee was seriously injured whilst moving large concrete barriers with a telescopic handler (telehandler) at the Council Abercraf depot on 12 June 2012.
Llandrindod Wells Magistrates heard (5 March) that Andre Colamazza, aged 45, was working with colleagues when one of the 2.5-tonne barriers laid on wooden bearers toppled and knocked Mr Colamazza to the ground, crushing his leg.
He suffered several fractures with a ‘shattered’ knee cap and remained in hospital for five weeks. Mr Colamazza has made a partial recovery and has since returned to work at the Council.
The Court was told that the incident occurred because was inappropriate equipment and an unsafe system of work was being used. None of the employees been properly trained in the task a suitable risk assessment had not been carried out to determine a safe system of work.
Powys County Council owned suitable equipment which was kept at the premises of one of the Council’s contractors and the team at the Abercraf depot were unaware of its existence.
Risk assessment and training are essential
Powys County Council of County Hall, Spa Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, was fined a total of £24,000 and ordered to pay £13,528 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sarah Baldwin-Jones said:
”There is no excuse for employers failing to safeguard their workers.
Had Mr Colamazza and his colleagues been properly trained to safely move the concrete barriers, using the correct equipment, and a proper risk assessment carried out by Powys County Council, this incident would not have occurred and Mr Colamazza would not have been seriously injured.”