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Safety failings cause worker to be hit by falling pipes

10th March 2014 | Warning Signs

Posted by Jason Nicholls

Roberts-Gordon Europe Ltd, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning manufacturer based in Wednesbury, has been heavily fined after a worker was crushed by a falling stack of pipes. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the incident was easily avoidable.

Ronald Meese was using a forklift truck to move bundles of three-metre metal tubes into stacks of five. Each bundle was separated from the others by a timber divider. While Mr Meese was out of the forklift putting one of these into place, one of the one-tonne stacks fell on top of him.

The HSE found there were no restraints or racks to hold the piles in place, and the timber dividers were not all the same size or shape, increasing instability.

No employee had been trained to stack the bundles of pipes, and no risk assessment had been carried out so there were no warning signs.

Roberts-Gordon was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £33,000 costs, after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.ADNFCR-2754-ID-801701686-ADNFCR


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