A work accident that left an employee with long-term aches and stiffness has led to his firm being fined for serious safety failings. His leg was crushed by a heavy vehicle chassis which slipped from a forklift truck, leaving him unable to work for almost eight months.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the standard-sized forklift truck used at Jackson Shotblasters in Bilston did not have long enough forks to safely lift the 2.4 metre-wide chassis. The standard forks used were only 1.6 metres wide. A larger truck suitable for the size of the chassis would have prevented the accident occurring, the HSE claimed.
The company also failed to conduct proper risk assessments around the task or supervise it adequately to prevent personal injury. The firm also failed to train 42-year-old Jason Atwell to lift a chassis and other items safely in and out of a booth ready for shot-blasting.
The worker was helping a colleague move the 1,700 kg chassis onto some metal stands in the booth when it slipped and fell off the forks of the truck onto his legs. He was crushed and pinned against the wall of the booth in which he had been standing at the time.
Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court heard how other safety failings, unconnected to the incident, came to light during the HSE investigation and several enforcement notices had to be served to prevent continued unsafe practices at the firm.
Jackson Shotblasters Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 and charged £3,912 in costs.
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Date Published: October 11, 2013
Author: David Brown