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SITE MANAGER AND WORKMAN PROSECUTED

Employees fell short in meeting their lifting operations responsibilities

A construction site manager and an experienced construction worker have been fined for safety failings after a co-worker was struck by a concrete skip at a construction project in South London on 23 February 2012 .

Woolwich Crown Court heard how Ryan Musgrave, aged 27, suffered a badly broken left leg and fractures to his right ankle and several ribs, when the empty concrete skip (weighing 215kg) became detached from an excavator and fell onto him. He was unable to work for seventeen months.

HSE investigators found there was no thorough examination certificate for the shackle on the excavator, and the shackle was defective.

  • Site manager Christopher Crowley – of Collier Row, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1)( a) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.  He was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay costs of £2,500
  • Self-employed construction worker, Michael Kernan, of Marine Parade, Sheerness, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) (c) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000
Shackle should have been taken out of use

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said:

“Mr Crowley should have taken the shackle on the excavator out of use when he inspected it two days before the incident as he had not seen a thorough examination report for it.

The law is clear that lifting accessories must not be used unless they have been thoroughly examined in the previous six months and that there is a report available to prove that.

Mr Kernan, an experienced construction worker, accepted that he did not fully screw in the pin on the shackle as he should have done and as a result it failed.

Lifting accessories are not complex items but if they are not used properly or are not thoroughly examined periodically then the consequences can be serious. The practice known as ‘backing off’, unwinding the pin by a quarter of a turn, is not safe and shouldn’t be used.

This case highlights the importance of ensuring simple checks are carried out properly and that equipment is used correctly”.

 

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