Firms fined after worker crushed by timber
Posted by Ben Alexander.
The importance of health and safety signs has been highlighted after two firms were fined because a self-employed plasterer was crushed by falling timber.
Last year (June 10th 2009), the man was hit by timber roof trusses that were being unloaded by a mobile crane from a lorry trailer at a construction site in Bilston, Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court heard how the 44-year-old was getting off the trailer when packs of trusses toppled onto him, fracturing his right leg, elbow, hand and thumb.
Six of the structures, with a joint weight of 400kg, held the man to the floor. Thankfully, another larger pack that was falling towards him hit a road sign and did not make contact.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Kent Road Construction Limited and Fortmere Construction, both Black Country firms.
Kent Road Construction admitted breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulation 1998, and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,496 in costs.
Fortmere Construction admitted breaching Regulation 14(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulation 2007, and was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £899 in costs.
Commenting on the prosecution, HSE inspector Martin Overstall said: "In this case, the contractor failed to plan, supervise and carry out a safe lifting operation. The client company had not appointed a coordinator, one of whose roles would have been to advise the client on the competence of the contractor."
In 2008/09, 53 people were killed while at work.
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