Worker crushed by falling metal frame

A Warrington engineering fabrication company has been sentenced after a worker suffered severe crush injuries when a metal frame he was moving toppled from a forklift truck.

The incident happened on 11 October 2017, when the employee of J L Engineering (Rixton) Ltd, together with another worker, was moving a trestle frame using a forklift truck (FLT). In an attempt to release the frame, which was catching the wheels of the truck, the driver loosened the securing straps. This caused the frame to topple from the FLT onto the employee who suffered multiple severe fractures and an erupted bladder. He is still receiving medical treatment and has been unable to return to work.

Investigating, the HSE found the company had not prepared a suitable risk assessment or lifting plan for lifting operations and had failed to recognise the risks associated with the way its employees were working. Employees were not adequately trained or instructed in methods of carrying out lifting operations safely.

J L Engineering (Rixton) Ltd of Chapel Lane, Rixton, Warrington pleaded guilty to breaching of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,895.32.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Catherine Lyon said: “The employees injuries in this case were life-changing and could have been fatal. Employees were put at risk as a result of the company allowing forklift trucks to be used without the appropriate training and monitoring of drivers.

“Employers have a responsibility to provide safe methods of working and to ensure workers have the necessary information and training to enable them to work without risk.”