A vehicle manufacturer from Luton has been fined for safety failings after a crane operator suffered serious crush injuries.
The worker, who does not wish to be named, was taking part in a lifting operation at IBC Vehicles Ltd’s factory in Kimpton Road when the incident took place on 1 July 2011.
He was admitted to hospital with multiple injuries including fractures to the upper left arm, breastbone, right collarbone and ribs – as well as collapsed lungs – and has not been able to return to work since.
Luton Crown Court heard the employee had lowered an eight-tonne block – used to make van parts – into its storage position.
But as he began unhooking it from the crane’s lifting chains, the 50-tonne crane started to move, dragging the block in his direction and crushing him against another block behind him.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident uncovered serious safety failings by IBC Vehicles Ltd.
Inspectors found a protective frame around the control levers of the crane, designed to prevent inadvertent operation, was missing, while there were also serious shortcomings with the company’s maintenance of lifting equipment and management of lifting operations.
The provision of training and information for employees was inadequate to ensure that lifting operations were carried out safely.
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IBC Vehicles Ltd, of Kimpton Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and two breaches of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
It was fined a total of £155,000 and ordered to pay £22,795 in prosecution costs.
Source: Luton On Sunday