Contractor Fined Following ‘Badly Planned’ Lifting Operation

A contractor has been fined £10,000 after an employee suffered severe injuries following a poorly planned lifting operation.

On 11th April 2015, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) rented a site for a worker to complete lifting operations to move two large crane mats. The chains attached to the mats were unsuitable as they were unable to reach the required lifting points on the crane mat. As a result, they could not hold the load during the lift manoeuvre, causing the mats to crash down, crushing the workers foot. As a result of his injuries, the worker had to have five of his toes amputated.

Investigation into the incident found that the manoeuvres to move the crane mats were complex and not a common routine lifting operation. It was also found that the task had not been planned by a competent person, no risk assessment, etc. had been put into place for the task and the telescopic handler operator completing the task at the time did not have a valid qualification that would permit him equipped to safely complete the movement.

FCBC admitted  failure to ensure that an operation involving lifting equipment, to lift and move a steel crane mat was sufficiently planned, and by an experienced individual. They also admitted failure to ensure the task was supervised appropriately and carried out in a safe manner.

Commenting on the incident, HSE Inspector, Robert Hirst, said “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing appropriate control measures and safe working practises. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required health and safety standards. “

FCBC pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, receiving a fine of £10,000.

Source: SHP Online, Lifting operation was badly planned, 28th November 2018. Read the full article.

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