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DISMANTLING WORKER STRUCK BY FALLING STEELWORK

Assessment, planning and training could have avoided injury

HCL Equipment Contracts Limited has been sentenced for safety failings after a worker suffered life changing injuries when steelwork he was dismantling collapsed.

The 39-year-old from Barnsley sustained serious crush injuries including a fractured sternum and vertebrae in the incident at a former concrete block works in Leicestershire, on 11 March 2013.

HSE investigators identified serious flaws with the dismantling and removal of steelwork which had supported a large aggregate mixer. The injured man and a colleague used ladders to access the top of the steelwork at a height of 7m.

The harnesses and lanyards worn were the “incorrect type” as they flame cut steelwork which dropped through a gap into a designated dropping area.

The men cut through a standing conveyor, with the intention of weakening it so it would fall onto the platform so they could continue the dismantling. However, as the 380kg conveyor began to descend the injured man was “unable to get out of the way” and he was struck by the falling frame.

No ‘safe escape’ route planned

HSE investigators found that no safe escape route was planned, resulting in the incident. The incident could have been prevented with better planning, management and training.

HCL Equipment Contracts Limited of Cotes Park Industrial Estate, Somercotes, Derbyshire, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £491 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Tony Mitchell said:

“HCL Equipment Contracts Limited was responsible for the welfare of its workers and for ensuring the dismantling work was carried out in a safe manner.

Our investigation found that if this work had been properly planned and risk assessed, and sufficient training given, it could have been avoided.”

 

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