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Two employees of North Lincolnshire-based R Martinson were disassembling the lorry using a telehandler -- mobile plant that features a telescopic boom with a lifting attachment -- Scunthorpe Magistrates' Court heard.
George Henry Johnson, 68, was struck by the telehandler in April 2015 as his co-worker was using it to remove a 44 kg metal rail from the lorry's chassis. Johnson sustained a traumatic skull fracture that has left him with permanent injuries. He now relies on family members for his care.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to adequately plan, organise, control and monitor the way the task was carried out.
Using a telehandler to lift and move parts like a mobile crane is a high-risk activity and the company failed to apply basic principles of safety management to reduce the risk of serious personal injury, the executive said.
R Martinson pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £53,300, plus £1,293 in costs.
Bristol Crown Court heard that the Concrete Fabrications employee, who wants to remain anonymous, was adjusting tension rods to rectify the misaligned conveyor. The bars were inside the machine’s guard, close to the conveyor belt and rotating tail pulley. Aggregate had built up on the tension rods and he attempted to knock it off with a hammer, but it was caught by the rotating machinery. The worker’s arm was dragged in and severed between the shoulder and elbow.
The HSE launched an investigation on 27 July after it carried out an unannounced inspection of J G Hale Construction’s site in the town of Blaenavon. It found the company did not properly plan and manage its site and there were no control measures in place to prevent a fire starting and spreading.
Quantum Exhibitions and Displays was extending the yard at the rear of its workshop in Hipperholme that was previously covered by vegetation, and hardcore had already been laid as part of the work.The company’s general labourer Daniel Willis, 26, had been tasked with compacting the hardcore with a 2.5 tonne Bomag tandem ride-on road roller the company had hired. The yard abutted a steep slope that led down to a footpath and watercourse.
A panel on the sectional vertical door at ESP’s premises in Malvern, Worcestershire, was broken and the company’s manager asked the worker and his colleague to check it. There was a spare panel in the factory and they decided to replace the faulty one on 5 May 2015. The panel sections of the door were connected by hinges. On the side of each section was a bracket with a roller that ran inside the vertical track in the door frame. The 150 kg door was held in position by two cables that connected the bottom panel to a pair of springs near the ceiling.
The accident happened at the premises of Groveport Logistics at Gunness near Scunthorpe, an inland port on the River Trent, to which R Martinson provides labourers and vehicle operators. One of Martinson’s HGV tipper trucks was no longer useable and the company assigned its transport manager, George Johnson, and his co-worker and qualified telehandler operator, Samuel Binns, to dismantle the vehicle for scrap.
Citing evidence obtained by a freedom of information (FOI) request by the trade union Unite to Bolsover District Council, the report – Employment practices at Sports Direct – says that a finger amputation, fractured neck, crushed hand, and wrist, back and head injuries were just some of 115 incidents at the warehouse between 1 January 2013 and 19 April 2016.