Three tonne tank falls on steel worker

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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A steel fabricator has been fined after a process tank weighing three tonnes fell on an employee at one of its sites.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Wefco (Gainsborough) Ltd of Britannia Works, Spring Gardens, Gainsborough, for failing to ensure the safety of 29 year old employee Edward Baxter.

Baxter of Hempdyke Road, Scunthorpe, sustained multiple fractures to his pelvis, spine and ribs, a fractured leg and ankle and head injuries as a result of the incident on 4 March 2008.

A process tank was being lifted with an overhead crane, chains and a temporary lifting bracket welded onto the tank. The lifting bracket came off the tank, which then fell onto Baxter.

Wefco (Gainsborough) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday.

HSE Inspector, Steve Woods, said: “This was an incident that resulted in very serious injuries to a young man which could have been even worse. His injuries could have been avoided had a safe system of work been followed.

“Employers need to ensure that difficult lifting operations are planned beforehand and that correct lifting equipment is being used.

“An incident like this demonstrates how vital it is that safe working procedures are communicated to and understood by people who carry out such lifting tasks.

“Supervision is also imperative and managers need to monitor the workplace of employees to ensure that safe working procedures are being followed and corners are not being cut.”

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