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Death of steel worker highlights the need for proper planning

4th March 2019

Two companies, a steel fabricator and scaffolding firm, were fined last month following an incident in 2012, that led to the death of a worker.

The worker, a metal fabricator, has been assisting the lifting operation of two large metal walkways that was being transported from the steel fabricator’s premises to the customer’s site. The walkways were being transported onto a flatbed lorry that was fitted with a mounted crane.

The incident saw the first walkway loaded onto the crane but not secured, and once the crane moved to pick up the second walkway, the sling became stuck on the first walkway, causing it to fall from the lorry and onto the worker, causing fatal injuries.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that the scaffolding company had failed to adequately plan the lifting operation that caused this tragic accident. Furthermore, the steel fabrication company was also found to have failed in its duty to ensure a safe working environment for the worker.

Both companies pleaded guilty to safety breaches; the scaffolding company was fined £60,000 along with £27,464,28 in costs, and the steel fabrication company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £27,211.09.

The HSE commented that had the lifting operation been appropriately planned and supervised at the time of the incident, the tragedy could have been averted. This is a vital component for any and all projects to be conducted safely, and is something that the Simian team strives to support clients with.

Our expert consultancy team are on hand to guide our clients through each stage of a project, to ensure safety for all members of a workforce. Contact our team today to find out more about our service and how it can improve the safety of your business.