A work accident during the building of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) new HQ in Surrey left a worker unable to return to employment for many weeks.
Naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough opened the WWF’s £20 million Living Planet Centre in Woking, Surrey, last November.
But 11 months earlier, on December 17, 2012, an unnamed worker hurt his spine after being crushed by a falling fan unit.
An engineering business was last week fined £15,000 at Guildford Crown Court for a safety breach which was discovered after the accident.
The employee was doing work that had been sub-contracted to Hemel Hempstead-based Wilden Services Limited.
The Hertfordshire company, from Belswains Lane, was fitting a ventilation structure for the new HQ.
Heavy fan unit caused spinal injuries
The worker’s spinal injuries were sustained when the 630kg (99st 3lb) fan unit pinned him to the floor as it fell from a moving pallet truck.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the incident could have been avoided.
But it would have needed a better way of planning and managing the work, the court heard last Friday (June 20).
In addition, Wilden was told to pay £7,148 costs.
The firm had already pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Denis Bodger, an HSE inspector, said after the case that the worker could have suffered paralysis if his spinal cord had been harmed by the toppling fan unit.
Nevertheless, the man was still seriously hurt and firms must ensure that great caution is exercised during the movement of heavy items, including risk planning.
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Source: Get Surrey