The apparent failure of prioritizing safety on the job has cost one Welsh employer a sizable fine.
Worker Pinned Against Wall by Three & One Half Ton Bus
According to information from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the scrap metal firm was levied with a fine, this in the wake of an employee suffering major injuries when a bus veered into him while it was being moved onto a truck in Merthyr Tydfil.
Clifford Evans, 49 from Fochriw, Caerphilly, found himself momentarily pinned against a wall prior to the bus swinging back again, leading to fractures to his pelvis and ribs.
As a result of the incident, Abba Scrap Metals Ltd was prosecuted by HSE following the incident at Penygarnddu Industrial Estate in December of 2011.
No Employees Had Received Training on Lifting Vehicles
Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates were told that workers at the company had been loading a three-and-a-half ton single-decker bus onto a low-loader truck, after salvaging parts from it, with the final plans for it to be moved to a scrap yard to be crushed.
Workers had planned to use an excavator to lift the front of the bus and a forklift truck to lift the rear, so that the low-loader could then reverse under it. As they lifted the front of the bus, using a pair of chains attached to the grab on the excavator, it swung outwards and hit Evans.
The court was informed the work had been badly planned and none of the employees involved had obtained training on lifting vehicles using chains. The company should not have allowed a worker to stand in a position where he was at risk of being pinned against a wall by the bus.
Abba Scrap Metals was fined $12,061 and ordered to pay $13,436 in costs once it had admitted a breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Dean Baker noted, "Clifford Evans suffered painful fractures to his pelvis and ribs, but his injuries could easily have been more serious or even fatal. The bus could have been lifted by simply using the grab on the excavator, but the company over complicated it by using two vehicles and not positioning the chains safely.
"Had the work had been properly planned by Abba Scrap Metals, and had workers been given proper training on lifting vehicles, then the incident could have been avoided."
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
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