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Steel fabricators fined after employee received multiple fractures

A steel fabricating company has been fined after a worker was injured by steel falling on him.

Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how in December 2016, an employee was struck by a bundle of steels that fell from a fork lift truck whilst they were being moved. As a result, he suffered multiple breaks in his leg.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company did not have a safe system of work in place to avoid this kind of incident. In particular, workstations were not separated from vehicles routes; lifting accessories were not provided to reduce the risk of the rebar slipping from the forks; and forklift truck drivers were not provided with site-specific and load-specific training.

Lemon Groundwork Solutions Limited of Russell Gardens, Wickford, pleaded Guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6253.14.

After the hearing HSE inspector Nikki Hughes said “This incident could easily have been avoided by the implementation of affordable control measures, such as a lifting accessory being used on the forklift truck. Handling and moving rebar is a well-recognised industry risk, which the company failed to identify and manage, despite the activity occurring frequently during a working day.  Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

HSE has published the following guidance in consultation with the National Association of Steel Services Centres: ‘Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock’ (HSG246).

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case.
  3. Latest HSE press releases
Updated: 2018-11-07