Magistrates have fined a power distribution firm £35,000 after an employee fractured his leg and back when a cherry picker fell to the ground.
Watford Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday how 33-year-old Stowmarket man Nicholas Chenery was working for the Freedom Group of Companies Ltd (FGCL) on power lines near Buntingford in Hertfordshire, when he was injured on August 9, 2012.
FGCL had been commissioned to upgrade overhead power cables and the poles that held them. Mr Chenery and other workers were rigging three lines separated by 500m, the second of which was fixed to the bucket of the cherry picker he was in and tensioned at the other end by another vehicle, the court heard.
Leg and back injuries
The magistrates were told that when the line was lifted into the air the cherry picker tipped over and the bucket containing Mr Chenery fell to the ground.
Mr Chenery is now back at work after several months out of action, but may need a further operation on his left ankle, the court was told.
Poor communication between teams
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that FGCL should have done more to guard against such a fall.
It discovered the firm had failed to meet its own standards in the way it carried out the routine operation and the communication between the two teams a long way away from each other while working on the project was poor. The operation was also not supervised properly, magistrates heard.
FGCL, of Bradford Road, Tingley in West Yorkshire, admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As well as the fine it must also pay £11,272 in costs.
Accident Advice Helpline is a good starting point for anyone who suffers a work injury and wants to find out more about compensation claims.
Source: Construction Enquirer