Worker crushed while dismantling steelwork

Grant Prior 3 years ago
Share

Two Derbyshire companies have been fined for safety failings after a worker was crushed whilst dismantling steelwork.

Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court heard that the 47-year-old man from Chesterfield was employed to dismantle surplus steelwork and associated fittings for MMD Mining Machinery Developments Ltd at premises in Cotes Park Lane, Somercotes, when the incident happened on 3 May 2011.

He was employed by Instant Installations Ltd, which had been contracted to supply labour for the dismantling work for MMD’s newly-acquired building, next to its existing Somercotes factory.

He and other colleagues were using a scissor lift type mobile elevating work platform and other equipment to remove surplus steelwork including some of the steel beams on which the overhead travelling cranes ran.

An investigation by the HSE found both companies failed to plan the dismantling work and to record the arrangements for carrying out the work.

MMD had failed to notify HSE of the construction project, only doing so six weeks after the incident.

In order to gain access to the steelwork to remove bolts, Instant Installations used a scissor lift that had been leased by MMD.

The scissor lift was also used to lower steel beams at height by resting them on the guard rails of the platform. The scissor lift was not designed for such work and an appropriate lifting device or crane should have been used.

Having removed single section beams (each typically weighing 430kg) using the scissor lift, the injured person and a colleague worked from the scissor lift and attempted to remove a compound crane beam.

This was longer and heavier, weighing in excess of a tonne, which was more than twice the scissor lift’s safe working load.

After removing bolts keeping the beam in place using a cherry picker, the injured person raised the scissor lift underneath the compound beam without the stabiliser legs deployed.

When the guard rail rested up against the beam, the lift’s alarm sounded, informing the workers the lift was overloaded.

Repeated attempts to place the handrail of the platform against the underside of the unfastened compound beam led to the beam becoming unstable and it toppled towards the factory floor.

The compound beam had been positioned centrally on the scissor lift, and the injured person was operating the platform controls from a position between the compound beam and the handrailing.

As the beam toppled towards the factory floor, the injured person was struck by the falling compound beam, causing him serious head and chest crush injuries. He remains off work.

The compound beam falling to the ground also caused the elevated platform to sway significantly, leaving the co-worker fearful of being thrown from the lift platform.

MMD Mining Machinery Developments Ltd was fined £ 26,666 and ordered to pay £8,013 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching CDM regulations.

Instant Installations Ltd, of New Whittington, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,013 after admitting breaching safety regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Grayam Barnes said: “This incident, which saw completely inadequate equipment being used to remove heavy steel beams at height, could easily have resulted in a fatality.

“It is the duty of employers to ensure that the correct work equipment is provided to carry out the work they have been tasked with.

“The failure of MMD Ltd in not notifying this work as a construction project also precluded them the opportunity to seek competent advice for the construction work.

“The failure to make the statutory notification meant they then carried the statutory duties of the ‘client’, ‘CDM co-ordinator’ and ‘principal contractor’.

“This incident demonstrates they were not competent to undertake those roles.

“Had they sourced and properly made such appointments then it is unlikely this incident would have occurred.

“This work was not properly planned out by either company and that lack of planning has led to a worker suffering very serious injuries which he is still recovering from more than three years later.”

Latest news

Hinkley chief buyer joins Murphy

Laing O'Rourke procurement head Ian Holcroft joins rival contractor
3 hours ago

O’Rourke firms fined £3.8m after concrete factory death

Court hears how worker was crushed by 11 tonne concrete panel
11 hours ago

Skanska schools director joins Wates

Martin Kramer joins Wates as Home Counties pre-construction director
7 hours ago

Architect trio advance £200m Gateshead Quay plan

Plan for conference and exhibition centre to be submitted by the end of next year
7 hours ago

Lendlease profit rebounds despite Scottish problems

UK construction business returns to strong profit
10 hours ago

McAlpine to start HMRC office at Cardiff central square

Work to start on fourth major office build at £400m city centre regen scheme
11 hours ago

Prime Minister summons house builders to strategy meeting

Theresa May looks to boost construction levels
10 hours ago

Muse leads £75m Dartford town regen scheme

Work to start in spring 2019 on Westgate mixed-use scheme
1 day ago

BAM submits £32m Jedburgh campus plan

Work to start in spring on borders all-through school campus
11 hours ago

Trio picked for Midlands multi-storey parking plan

Bourne Parking, Blackwells and Dawnus in line for multi-storey park and ride programme
1 day ago

Multiplex staff let go as sites run down

Site office teams broken up as schemes nearing completion
1 day ago

Bouygues set for £300m Cavendish physics lab

Cambridge University awards first contract under new framework
1 day ago

Murphy to install 60km underground power cable

Contractor to smash UK record for horizontal drilling
2 days ago

McMullen lands £11m cladding package from O’Rourke

Specialist to start on site in April at Liverpool cancer hospital
1 day ago

Bellway delivers 11% rise in home completions

Bellway plans to open new division in the north as demand surges
1 day ago

Mace seeks to boost transport consultancy

Mace makes two senior appointments to drive airport and highways work
1 day ago

Lidl to build its largest UK warehouse in Peterborough

New £80m warehouse is discount giant's 6th to be announced this year
2 days ago

Concrete problems hit Hinkley Point tunnels

Material needs to be replaced after failing quality checks at nuclear plant
2 days ago

Interserve lenders call in advisers amid cash crunch fears

Interserve says work underway to give greater clarity on current trading and provisions
2 days ago

Balfour/Mott seals £115m area 10 road upkeep extension

Highways England opts to extend Area 10 assets support contract
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall nets £16m fisheries HQ

Existing Cefas buildings in Lowestoft will be refurbished before new office is built
2 days ago

Construction growth to stagnate next year

Construction faces recession if promised infrastructure spend delayed
3 days ago

M+W wins £25m Newton’s apple tree lab job

Work to start in December on National Physical Laboratory measuring lab
2 days ago

Seven winners on £200m Manchester roads deal

Four-year framework starts in January for highways work across the city
2 days ago

Sisk clinches £190m Great Ormond Street phase 4

Sisk beats Skanska to major clinical building project at London children's hospital
6 days ago

Carillion in talks to sell healthcare business

Contractor approached by a number of serious potential buyers
6 days ago

Network Rail secures £48bn for 2019 – 2024 programme

Funding shake-up with new gateway system to avoid overspends on major projects
6 days ago

Virtual reality backpack allows site walk throughs

Wearable computer takes VR to all parts of buildings under construction
5 days ago

Interserve mobilises for £20m Barnsley sewage works

Contractor to start first job with Yorkshire Water under new relationship
5 days ago

BAM to build £33m Edinburgh spec office

Capital Square office development to start this month
5 days ago

Contractor services