Council fined for lifting injury accident

A council worker’s lifting accident injury has resulted in a Welsh local authority being fined £24,000 for safety failings.

Andre “Dean” Colamazza was seriously hurt at Powys County Council’s public services’ depot in Abercraf on June 12, 2012.

Mr Colamazza, 45, sustained three fractures and a shattered knee cap and was in hospital for five weeks.

He was part of a crew moving big concrete barriers using a telescopic handler at the time of the accident.

Mr Colamazza, who is from the Llandrindod Wells area, was knocked to the ground by one of the 2.5-tonne, three-metre (9ft 10in) barriers. They had been laid on wooden bearers and toppled over, crushing his left leg.

Work accident ended in prosecution

The council was prosecuted at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, March 5 following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the work accident.

The incident happened because the workers moving the barriers were using inappropriate equipment and an unsafe system of work, the court heard.

None of the workers asked to move the barriers had been trained for this task, the HSE found. Also, the council had not undertaken a risk assessment to determine a safe system of work.

The local authority owned apparatus which was suitable for moving concrete barriers when the accident occurred.

But this was stored at a council contractors’ premises unbeknown to the Abercraf depot crew.

Powys County Council of Llandrindod Wells, Powys, was also told to pay £13,528 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Source: News North Wales

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