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LIFTING BEAM KEY INFORMATION NOT PROVIDED

Work equipment misused in absence of supplier guidance

Two companies have been fined after a lorry driver suffered multiple injuries whilst loading his lorry in October 2010.

Leicester Crown Court heard that railway engine wheels weighing more than 2.5 tonnes each were being loaded onto the back of a lorry driven by Mark Furborough, at Brush Electrical Machines Ltd premises in Loughborough.

The fork lift truck used was being driven by an employee of Brush Electrical Machines Ltd and was fitted with a lifting beam manufactured by Keenhandle Ltd.

During the lifting operation the lifting beam became detached from the fork lift truck and struck Mr Furborough who suffered two broken bones in a leg, a torn ligament, a broken left wrist and a broken rib. He was off work for nine months and is no longer able to work as a lorry driver.

HSE investigators found:

  • Unsafe system – wheels were loaded using an unsafe system of work and inappropriate equipment;
  • Inadequate information  – the lifting beam supplier should have provided information and instruction on intended and safe operation, so that it would not be misused.
Both companies failed in duty

Brush Electrical Machines Ltd, of Alcester, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect people not in their employment.

Keenhandle Ltd, of Quorn, Leicestershire, was found guilty at a trial in Leicester Crown Court in June of this year of a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect people not in their employment.

Brush Electrical Machines Ltd was fined £67,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,500. Keenhandle Ltd was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,000

After the hearing HSE inspector David Lefever said:

“This incident was entirely preventable”.

Keenhandle Ltd failed to give the other company adequate instructions on how the equipment that they manufactured should be used and failed to assess the foreseeable risks posed by the use of the equipment”.

Brush Electrical Machines Ltd failed to utilise a safe system of work, something which they could easily have done”.

The failings by both companies resulted in a man suffering painful injuries which has cost him his job as a lorry driver.”

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