A concrete production company has been fined £400,000 after a welder lost four fingers during an unsafe lifting operation.
The injury was inflicted when a forklift that was being used to lift a large metal gate was attached to the truck by a chain, with an ‘O-ring’ slotted onto the forklift’s truck tines. As the gate was being lifted, it slipped off the tines and fell to the floor, slicing off the welder’s four fingers.
No precautions were taken to prevent it from sliding off.
The HSE’s investigation found that Hanson Quarry Products Europe Limited did not properly plan and supervise the lifting operation to ensure it was carried out in a safe manner.
At Southwark Crown Court, Hanson Quarry Products Europe Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and has been fined £400,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £11,376.25.
HSE Inspector, Jane Wolfenden, stated that “the use of forklift truck, chain and O-ring was unsafe, putting workers at unnecessary risk. This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply having a competent person plan a safe lifting operation and providing adequate supervision to ensure the lifting operation was carried out safely.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.