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    BASKET TIPPED DURING CRANE MAN-RIDING

    Lifting and plant hire firm failed to plan use of crane for lifting persons

    Hugh Simpson Limited has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he fell from a man riding basket.

    Wick Sheriff Court heard how Hugh Simpson Limited was contracted to unload ships with equipment owned by the company. The firm was in overall charge of the lifting operations although the engaged a subcontractor to remove sea fastenings from the ship holds.

    On 7 January 2013 Brian Reid was lowered into a ship hold in a man riding basket lifted by a crane whilst an employee of Hugh Simpson Ltd was in charge of lifting operations was on the deck of the ship to communicate with both Mr Reid and the crane operator. Neither the basket nor Mr Reid was visible to the crane operator whilst in the hold of the ship, so the crane operator relied on communications from the deck.

    Basket tipped throwing workman to floor

    Mr Reid cut one of the sea fastenings and indicated using hand signals that he required the basket to be moved to reach the other fastening. As he began working on it, the basket tipped upside down throwing him onto the hold floor. Mr Reid sustained multiple complex fractures to his face and nose and fractured his left hand.

    HSE investigators found that the operational plans and risk assessment prepared by Hugh Simpson did not include lifting people in a basket attached to a mobile crane. The man riding basket was not suitable to be used in conjunction with a crane and should only have been used with a fork lift truck.

    Hugh Simpson (Contractors) Limited, of The Harbour, Wick, Caithness pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, (LOLER) and was fined £26,000.

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