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MILLION POUND FINE OVER LIFTING OPERATION DEATH

Machinery movement by ad hoc system ends in fatal incident

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd has been fined £1m after a workman was crushed to death by falling machinery in April 2015. Colin Reddish, 48, from Lincolnshire was involved in moving a large CNC milling machine within the company Grantham factory when it overturned and caused his death.

The machine was lifted using jacks and placed onto skates in order to give Mr Reddish access to use an angle grinder to cut and remove the bolts that had secured it to the floor. He was working alone at the time of the incident.

Magistrates heard how the company failed to ensure that workers lifting and moving the machine were sufficiently trained with necessary experience and training for carrying out such a potentially dangerous activity.

HSE investigators found the work was not properly planned. The centre of gravity of the machine had not been properly assessed and taken into account before the move took place. This resulted in an unsafe system of work being used for the task, with fatal consequences.

Failed to assess risk and set up safe system

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Reg 3(1) of Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety of Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £1million for breaching Section 2, with full costs £6,311 and a victim surcharge of £120.

HSE Inspector Martin Giles said:

“Colin Reddish’s death was entirely preventable. Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd had already tried unsuccessfully to lift the machine using a fork lift truck but instead of learning from this failure they carried on. Their ad hoc approach to managing dangerous tasks resulted in one of their workers losing his life.

All companies can learn from this incident and make sure they have properly risk assessed the situation before they start and that they have trained staff with the right type of experience to carry out the task in hand safely. Taking an extra few minutes to properly think through a problem could save a worker’s life.”

 

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