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    LORRY MOUNTED LIFTING OPERATION PROVED FATAL

    Steel staircase toppled from vehicle after sling snagged

    Two companies have been prosecuted following the death of a 37-year-old worker workman on a Barrow in Furness  industrial estate in March 2012.

    Preston Crown Court heard how metal fabricator, Andrew Bowes, died whilst assisting with a lifting operation involving two large metal walkways and a flatbed lorry fitted with an integral mounted crane.

    The first of the two walkways was lifted onto the back of the lorry but not secured. When the crane moved to lift the second walkway a sling became snagged on the first walkway causing it to fall from the back of the lorry onto Mr Bowes causing fatal crush injuries.

    Lift not properly planned and supervised

    HSE investigators found that Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd failed to properly plan the lifting operation. The company failed to recognise the risks involved and did not have a safe system of work for what was a complex lift. The company also failed to supervise the lifting operation properly. The lifting operation was poorly organised and controlled, placing those in the immediate vicinity at significant risk.

    In addition, HSE found that Larkin Eng Services Ltd failed in its duty to ensure the safety of Mr Bowes. It had directed Mr Bowes, who had only been working for the company a week, to become actively involved whilst the operation was taking place.

    • Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd – of Ulverston, Cumbria pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been ordered to pay fines of £60,000 and costs of £27464.28.
    • Larkin Eng Services Ltd – of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been ordered to pay fines of £20000 and costs of £27211.09.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Banks said:

    “We would like to thank Andrew’s family for their patience throughout what has been a complex investigation.

    Companies should always ensure that lifting operations are properly planned, organised and conducted safely. Had this lifting operation been properly planned and supervised, then this tragedy could have been averted”

     

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