Safety Signs News

Steel firm fined after lift plunge leaves man in 'constant pain'

20th January 2011 | Health and Safety Signs

Posted by Jason Nicholls.

The importance of health and safety signage has been highlighted after a Lanarkshire steel firm was fined £20,000 after one of its workers fell to the ground in the scissor lift he was working in when it was struck by an overhead crane, leaving him with multiple broken bones.

Lanark Sheriff Court heard how the 36-year-old employee of steel fabrication firm BHC was using the lift, also known as a cherry picker, to drill holes in the roof of a paint workshop at the firm's Carnwarth base in April 2008.

An overhead crane installed to move steel around the workshop began to move towards the man. He had his back to the machine and did not hear its approach when it struck the picker, knocking it five and a half metres to the ground.

The man broke his hip, pelvis, thigh bone, knee ankle and nose. After an operation he has various pins and metal plates in parts of his body, is in constant pain and walks with the aid of sticks.

BHC pleaded guilty to breaking Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £20,000.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector Eve Macready said the incident had an "enormous impact" on the worker's life.

"If BHC...had properly planned or supervised the work they would have recognised that the overhead crane was a hazard and stopped it being used while Mr Struthers and his colleagues were working on the roof."

A dozen people in Britain died because of a fall from height in 2009/10, HSE figures show.ADNFCR-2754-ID-800353797-ADNFCR


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