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Guilty plea after sub-contractor loses four fingers

07 August 2019

A CONCRETE production company has been fined after a welder lost four fingers during an unsafe lifting operation.

Southwark Crown Court heard how on 27 September 2016, at the company’s Kings Cross site in York Way, a forklift was being used to lift and swivel a large metal gate attached to the truck with a chain on a “O-ring” that was slotted onto the forklift truck tines with nothing to prevent it sliding off. As the gate was being lifted, it slipped off the tines and fell to the floor, slicing off the welder’s four fingers.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Hanson Quarry Products Europe Limited did not properly plan and supervise this lifting operation to ensure it was carried out in a safe manner.

Hanson Quarry Products Europe Limited of Hanson House, Castle Hill, Maidenhead pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and has been fined £400,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £11,376.25.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Jane Wolfenden said, “The use of forklift truck, chain and O-ring was unsafe, putting workers at unnecessary risk. This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply having a competent person plan a safe lifting operation and providing adequate supervision to ensure the lifting operation was carried out safely.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards “