A skip hire firm has been fined after a worker was struck by a falling skip, leaving him with serious head injuries.
The unnamed 45-year-old from Annitsford in Northumberland has still not returned to work following the incident at NA Park Ltd in Brunswick Village, Newcastle, on December 20, 2010.
Skip contents frozen
On the day of the work accident the man was sorting through waste, but because the skips were covered in frost it was thought the contents would be frozen, so a wagon driver moved a skip into a building to be emptied and sorted, Newcastle magistrates heard.
However, he was unable to empty the frozen load, and the skip was unloaded from the wagon and left in the building.
Another colleague then used a shovel loader to turn the skip upside down to release the frozen waste. But as he turned the empty skip back to its upright position, the grab of the shovel – which was gripping the edge of the skip – opened and the skip fell, hitting the worker on the head.
An investigation by the HSE found the shovel loader did not have suitable equipment fitted to undertake lifting operations and should not have been used to move the skip.
NA Park Ltd was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Many incidents such as this are avoidable, and if you have been injured in an accident at work, Accident Advice Helpline may be able to help you claim compensation.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Woodhall, said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident that resulted in serious injury. It could have been prevented if NA Park Ltd had provided suitable work equipment for lifting and turning waste skips.
“Employers are required to ensure that all work equipment is used only for operations and under conditions for which it is suitable,” he added.