Steel erector knocked from cherry picker by crane

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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A steel erector was left with multiple broken bones when the scissor lift he was working in was struck by an overhead crane which knocked the basket to the ground.

Alexander Struthers, 36, was using a cherry picker to drill holes in the roof at a paint workshop at steel fabrication firm BHC Ltd in Carnwarth on 3 April 2008.

There was an overhead crane installed in the workshop to move steel around and Struthers was working with his back towards it at the time of the incident.

He did not hear the crane moving towards him as it hit the scissor lift basket he was in, knocking it five and a half metres to the ground

As a result, Struthers broke his hip, pelvis, thigh bone, knee, ankle and nose. He was in hospital for six days and endured a nine-hour operation to repair various bones.

A subsequent operation has left him with an 18-inch pin in his thigh bone as well as various pins, metal plates and screws in his hip, pelvis and ankle. He is in constant pain, still attends physiotherapy and walks with the aid of sticks.

BHC Ltd pleaded guilty to breaking the Work at Height Regulations at Lanark Sheriff Court and was fined £20,000.

Following the case, Health and Safety Executive Inspector Eve Macready said: “This completely avoidable incident has had an enormous impact on Mr Struthers’ life.

“If BHC Ltd construction had properly planned or supervised the work they would have recognised that the overhead crane was a hazard and stopped it being used while Mr Struthers and his colleagues were working on the roof.

“Duty holders have an obligation to ensure all work at height is properly planned and a proper risk assessment has taken place.”

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