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GIRDERS FELL DURING UNSAFE USE OF DEMO PLANT

Workman crushed and trapped by steel moved by company MD

A demolition company and its director have been sentenced after a worker suffered crush injuries when his arms were trapped between two 10 tonne steel girders in October 2015.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how an employee of S. Evans and Sons Limited was injured when the managing director, who was operating machinery to stack the girders, dropped one of the girders onto the employee’s arms, resulting in amputation to the employee’s left arm and right hand.

HSE investigators found the company failed to apply appropriate control measures including ensuring the right equipment for the task was used.

It has been reported by the Liverpool Echo that the court heard the girder was lifted with an Rotator Shear attached to an excavator. This was equipment which should have been used for cutting up materials during demolition.

Basic steps not taken on routine task

Managing director, Samuel Evans, was directly involved in the incident and found personally responsible for both the choice in equipment and the manner in which the task was performed.

  • S. Evans and Sons Limited – of Ditton Road, Widnes pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,523.04.

The Echo reports that Andrew Long, defending the company, said the accident was a “bizarre aberration”. Both employees involved were fully trained and competent to carry out the work in question. The correct equipment was available and the company would have anticipated that it would be completed safely and without incident.

  • Samuel Evans (Company Director) – pleaded guilty to breaching two counts of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, in relation to the company’s failing of Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Samuel Evans was sentenced to ten months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

The Echo reports that Malcolm Galloway, defending Evans, said he was “devastated” by the injuries and had now stepped away from the day to day running of the firm. He said: “Two years ago he made a mistake and he knows he got it wrong. He got it badly wrong and he is genuinely devastated by that.”

HSE inspector Rohan Lye said after the hearing:

“If the company and its director had taken basic steps to decide how to do this routine task, and what control measures to use, they could have prevented this devastating incident resulting in an employee suffering life-changing injuries.”

 

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