The proprietors of a Northumberland farm were fined after an employee suffered leg injuries after a concrete panel fell on him.
Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court heard that on 04 August 2014, the farm worker and another employee were using a telehandler with a fork attachment to build cattle troughs using reinforced concrete panels weighing approx. 1.5 tonnes.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting Messrs F T Walton of Flotterton Farm, Thropton, told the court the men wrapped a hook ended chain around the forks and attached the hooks to lifting hoops on the panels. As the cattle troughs were to be built inside a shed, the employees realised they could not get the telehandler boom through while lifting the panel.
They lowered the panel to the ground and intended to shorten the chain, however the panel was not adequately supported and it fell onto the one of the workers’ legs causing crush injuries. The worker suffered six fractures to his lower right leg that required surgery to add a metal rod. He could not put any weight on his leg for four months.
HSE said the defendant Messrs F T Walton should have adequately planned the lifting. It should have ensured suitable equipment was available for the lifting, to ensure that it could be carried out safely.
Messrs F T Walton of Flotterton Farm, Thropton, Morpeth, Northumberland, admitted breaching Regulation 8(1) Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £5000 and ordered to pay HSE costs of £1096. A compensation order to the injured worker was also made for £2000.
For more information about lifting operations, http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/loler.htm