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    UNSAFE USE OF SKIP LIFTER CAUSED FATALITY

    Fork lift being lifted on to vehicle fell when winch wire failed under load

    An auto-salvage company has been prosecuted after a customer was trapped and fatally injured when a lift truck he had purchased was being loaded onto his own recovery vehicle in February 2018 near Etterby.

    Carlisle Crown Court heard that the lift truck was being lifted on to the recovery vehicle using a skip lifter lorry belonging to the defendant. A winch wire attached to a metal ring on the lift truck failed during the lifting operation causing the lift truck to fall and trap the customer against the skip lorry.

    Method fundamentally unsafe

    HSE investigators found that was a “complex lifting process” was not properly planned by a competent person and that the defendant failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk.

    A competent person would have identified that this loading method with this equipment was “fundamentally unsafe”.

    • Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd – of Stainton Rd, Etterby, Carlisle pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley commented:

    “This incident could so easily have been avoided should the lift have been properly planned and appropriate equipment and safe working practices been employed as a result.

    Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

     

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