Preston worker suffers injuries after being hit by falling bale

Posted on 10/04/13 in News, No Comments

First Reported by the Health & Safety Executive:

The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted a Preston Plastic Company for failure to ensure that lifting tasks were carried out in a safe manner after an employee was injured.

The incident in question occurred on 18th August 2011, when a male employee was injured after the driver of a forklift truck lifted two bales from a pile in a warehouse by clinching hold of the bottom bale, whilst the other balanced on top.

The Health and Safety executive advised the court that guidance warned against using fork lift trucks to lift items in such a way, following other fatal accident’s caused by toppling loads which had been reported in the past.

As the bales were moved, the top bale fell off and struck a male employee, who was thrown to the floor, hitting his hands and head, as well as fracturing his spine.

It was found that the company had failed to properly plan the work in advance, in order to affect the procedure safely and avoid such danger.

The company pleaded guilty to the breaches of health and safety law and was fined over £14,000.00.

Health and Safety Executive Inspector Rohan Lye, speaking after the hearing commented that:

“The employee at Preston Plastics was badly injured when he was struck by the 400kg bale, but his injuries could easily have been fatal.

“The firm had a legal duty to make sure the work was properly planned, supervised and carried out safely but it failed to do any of this. What’s worse is that the forklift truck was regularly used to lift two bales at once, making it almost inevitable that someone would be injured.

“The company has since changed its working practices so that the forklift truck is now only used to lift one bale at a time. If that procedure had been in place at the time of the incident, then the worker’s injuries could have been avoided.”

Latest figures show that the waste and recycling sector has recently been classified one of the most dangerous industries in Britain.

If you have suffered an injury at work, we may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Leave a query on our website….


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