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Crane operator pinned under falling scrap lead

A lead smelter has been fined £200,000 after an employee was injured at its site in Derbyshire.

The crane operator, who was employed by HJ Enthoven & Sons, was using an overhead crane to lift a bin of scrap lead when the bin slipped. Its contents emptied on to the worker, trapping and injuring him. 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company had failed to properly plan the work and ensure it was supervised by a competent person.  

HJ Enthoven pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined at Luton Magistrates’ Court, where it was also ordered to pay £6,510 costs.

HJ Enthoven is part of Ecobat Technologies, a global lead producer and recycler that turned over more than £2bn in 2017, according to accounts filed with Companies House. The group promotes workplace safety and health through its Safe for Life campaign and has recently launched a new programme, entitled Stop and Think, which is designed to encourage workers “to review the safety of the task they are about to perform”. 

HSE inspector Rubeena Surnam said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided if the company had properly planned the work and implemented the control measures identified.” 


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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