An employee was seriously injured after being hit by a falling beam during an operation to dismantle steelwork, a court heard.
Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard that the 47-year-old had still not returned to his job following the accident at work, which happened in May 2011.
The man, who lives in Chesterfield, was employed by Instant Installations Ltd to remove surplus fittings and steelwork at MMD Mining Machinery Developments Ltd’s premises in Somercotes, Derbyshire.
Beam weighed more than a tonne
Instant Installations Ltd, of New Whittington, Chesterfield, has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £8,013 in costs after admitting breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.
And magistrates fined MMD Mining Machinery Developments Ltd £26,666 with costs of £8,013 after it pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.
The court was told that the man and his colleague had been using a scissor lift work platform while attempting to remove the crane beam. But the beam weighed more than a tonne, twice the safe working load of the scissor lift.
Accident could have led to fatality
The beam had become unstable during the work and fell towards the factory floor, hitting the employee and leaving him with serious head injuries, magistrates heard.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said its investigation had found that both firms failed to plan or record the arrangements for carrying out the dismantling work.
Following the court case, HSE inspector Grayam Barnes said the incident could easily have resulted in somebody being killed.
He said the equipment being used to remove the heavy beams at height had been completely inadequate.
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Date Published: November 6, 2014
Author: David Brown