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When lifting a load goes wrong

BY Matthew Ramsey
Health & Safety

An event management company has been fined for failing to ensure the safety of employees during the lifting and moving of a 14-foot-wide park home chassis.

Employees of a Coventry based company were transferring a 14-foot-wide park home chassis through a 13-foot-wide opening on 5 July 2018.

As the opening was too narrow, employees were required to push down on the sides of the chassis to angle it through the door whilst it was being manoeuvred by two forklift trucks. The chassis slipped off the forks, rebounded off the floor and struck one of the employees on the shoulder.

The force of the impact lifted him off his feet and flung him backwards two metres into the wall of the building. He was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken collar bone.

The subsequent HSE investigation found the lift was not properly planned, organised or carried out safely. Employees were left to devise their own method of moving the chassis, as the company had ‘failed to properly assess the risks and take simple measures to ensure the task was carried out safely’.

The Company plead guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £161,000 with costs of £1,345.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Christopher Maher said: “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.

“Since the incident the company have widened the opening to allow for safe movement of the park home chassis. Had they done this before the incident these injuries could been avoided.”

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