Safety failures resulted in hand injuries

An employee suffered serious hand injuries resulting from lifting equipment failure, a court has heard.

Powder coating firm DT Powder Coating Ltd was fined £36,000 following the incident at its premises in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire on September 26, 2012.

The unnamed worker was hit by falling metal items that toppled from a basket being lifted by crane into a degreasing tank. It occurred because a lifting eyebolt attached to the crane failed.

This should have been screwed securely into the framework at the top of the basket. But it was badly welded into place. The weld eventually failed causing the basket to drop.

The basket’s contents fell on to the worker’s right hand, leaving him with broken bones, lacerations and damage to nerves and tendons.

Work accident led to more complaints

DT Powder Coating Ltd – now trading as XL Powder Coating Ltd – did not report the work accident within the 15-day period specified by law, magistrates heard.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) subsequently received three different complaints from existing and former staff. This resulted in HSE serving four Improvement Notices on the firm.

A further HSE investigation found serious shortcomings in the way lifting operations were undertaken.

DT Powder Coating Ltd, registered at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, was also ordered to pay £10,509 costs on Monday, March 10.

Luton Magistrates’ Court found it guilty of breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Regulation 3(2) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 and Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Source: HSE

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