Steel worker killed during first week on the job

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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A steel fabricator and a scaffolding firm have been fined following the death of a 37-year-old worker.

Preston Crown Court heard how Andrew Bowes was crushed to death in March 2012 during his first week on the job.

Bowes was a metal fabricator employed by Larkin Eng Services Ltd.

He died while working at the company’s premises in Barrow in Furness.

Larkin Eng Services Ltd had contracted Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd to collect two large metal walkways and deliver them to a customer using a flatbed lorry fitted with a mounted crane.

Bowes was directed to assist with the lifting operation by his employer.

The first walkway had been lifted onto the back of the lorry but was not fastened down.

As the crane moved to pick up the second walkway, a sling became snagged on the first walkway, causing it to tip over and fall from the back of the lorry onto Bowes who sustained fatal crush injuries.

An HSE investigation found that Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd had failed to properly plan the lifting operation.

The investigation also found that Larkin Eng Services Ltd had failed in its duty to ensure the safety of Bowes.who had only been working for the company a week.

Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd of Ulverston, Cumbria pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was ordered to pay fines of £60,000 and costs of £27464.28.

Larkin Eng Services Ltd of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria also pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay fines of £20000 and costs of £27211.09.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Banks said: “We would like to thank Andrew’s family for their patience throughout what has been a complex investigation.

“Companies should always ensure that lifting operations are properly planned, organised and conducted safely.

“Had this lifting operation been properly planned and supervised, then this tragedy could have been averted. HSE will take enforcement action against both clients and contractors who fail to meet the required standards.”

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