Consett firm fined after cherry picker accident
Crossgill Construction Ltd in Consett were recently taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident last year in which a young, trainee steel worker received serious injuries.
The accident occurred when the boom arm cherry picker the trainee was working in became trapped on the frame of the factory. When it came loose, the cherry picker basket sprang upwards and trapped the worker’s head between the edge of the basket and the steel frame above him. This resulted in serious injuries that included 3 separate breaks to his jaw, and a cut that went straight through his cheek.
On investigation, the HSE found a number of failings that led to the accident. The most concerning was that the steel that was being attached to the factory frame was being stored just outside of the building. This meant that the cherry pickers could not park close enough from outside of the build, and instead had to undertake their work from inside the frame.
This type of work, where workers are expected to manoeuvre inside a structure or within layers of steelwork, means that extra care should have been taken when planning the tasks at hand as it is more likely that an accident will occur if the boom or basket comes into contact with the frame.
In addition to this, the steel rails that were being fitted to the frame were being lifted into place on the cherry picker without being secured. This meant that the workers had to manoeuvre the vehicles precisely to allow the steel to be fixed into place, increasing the likelihood of the basket or boom striking the frame.
By not properly identifying these risks during the planning stage of the task, the company did not take steps to remove or reduce the hazard, which led to the trainee becoming seriously injured in an accident that could have easily been avoided had the appropriate planning and risk assessment taken place.
Crossgill Construction Ltd plead guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and were fined £6000.00 and ordered to pay £865.30 costs.
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