Good health and safety practice is paramount in any workplace, but particularly when employees have to handle heavy machinery.
That is why an engineering company in Knowsley has been fined £30,000 for making major errors when an employee was hit by a metal structure during a lifting process.
The worker, 46, suffered a fractured arm and flesh wounds during the incident, which occurred on June 30th 2014.
Earlier this week, the firm was tried at Liverpool Crown Court and pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, having failed to have appropriate procedures and training in place and an emergency response plan for such a serious event.
The court heard how the employee, together with another worker, were trying to manoeuvre a structure with a fork lift, when it swung towards them and struck the injured party in the cab of the truck.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector Imran Siddiqui commented: “Had the company taken basic steps as providing suitable training so those undertaking the lift were in a more informed position to assess and then adequately manage the risks, this incident would have been avoided.”
The HSE launched an investigation after the incident and discovered the firm had not suitably planned, supervised or carried out the lifting operation safely. Furthermore, it had not conducted a risk assessment and the employees had not been given formal training for using the apparatus.
In addition to the hefty fine, the company was ordered to pay court costs of 7,670.
This comes as a construction company in South Wales was charged £100,000 after HSE inspectors visited its site in Blaenavon unexpectedly and found several health and safety issues, including lack of management control, emergency planning and ways to detect a fire, among many others.