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LIFT PLANNING AND CONTROL FOUND WANTING

Female building worker struck by scaffold fittings tipped from stillage

Two South West England based companies have been fined a total of £163,000 after a 44-year old woman was struck by falling scaffold fittings on a construction project in Queen Mothers Square, Poundbury, Dorchester.

Weymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how employees of Carter Training Ltd were using a mobile crane when an attachment holding 500 scaffolding fittings weighing 2kg each turned and emptied the contents onto workers on the concrete flooring 10.5m below.

The worker suffered two fractures to her left shoulder blade, a fracture to her left collar bone, a cut to the back of her head and bruising.

HSE investigators found the stillage attachment used on the crane was not suitable for lifting heavy and large amounts of scaffolding. Lifting the scaffolding directly above a number of contractors working below also put them at risk of harm.

Lifting directly above workers is “inherently unsafe”

The court also heard that CDM Principal Contractor Zero C Holdings Ltd failed to carry out an audit of all lifting plans and as a result failed to manage the risks associated with this lifting activity.

The company did not have clear lines of communication between the lifting company Carter Training Ltd and contractors working on the site below.

  • Zero C Holdings Limited – of Poundbury, Dorchester has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £145,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3500.
  • Carter Training (services) Ltd – of East Budleigh, Devon has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (1) Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, and has been fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3500.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said:

“The worker is very lucky that her injuries were not life threatening. Both Zero C Holdings and Carter Training put a number of workers at risk of harm when they failed to plan or identify the risks of heavy lifting.

This case highlights the need for duty holders to properly plan all lifting operations before work is carried out to manage the risk of injury to workers. Lifting directly above workers is inherently unsafe and should be avoided wherever possible”

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