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    WORKER FATALLY INJURED BY CONCRETE BEAM

    Lifting operation not properly planned, managed and supervised

    A farming business has been fined after an employee fell from a trailer and was crushed to death by a concrete beam in March 2018 on a site in Burmarsh, Kent.

    Folkestone Magistrates heard that the defendant was working with other employees to move 6m concrete beams from a trailer. Each beam weighed more than 300 kg and needed to be lifted by a mechanical telehandler.

    The deceased was on the trailer (attaching lifting chains to unload a beam) when he fell from the edge. He “caught” one of the beams which fell from the trailer and landed on his upper body, crushing him to death.

    Workers left to decide system

    An investigation by HSE found that the operation to move the beams was carried out at short notice and had not been properly planned. The employees were left to decide how to do it themselves, leading to an unsafe system of work.

    None of the team were trained in lifting and slinging operations.

    • A.A. Clifton Limited – of Haguelands Farm, Burmarsh, Kent pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £30,000, with full costs of £5446.50.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Stephen Green said

    “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a long-term employee. It could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.

    Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.”

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