Telford-based Pelloby Engineering was in the dock this week after a two-tonne beam fell onto an employee. It turned out that although the company makes lifting equipment for others, its own employees had not been trained how to use it themselves.
Two employees were working in the company’s finishing shop on 21st August 2014 moving a seven metre long across the shop floor. The beam was connected to an overhead crane using a single five-tonne fabric round sling. During lifting the sling snapped dropping the load to the floor. It landed on one of the employees pinning him down and crushing his leg and lower torso.
Telford magistrates heard that the workers were steadying the load by hand and not using tag lines to keep them out of the danger zone. The sling was in a poor state of repair and lacked the required statutory examination report and the employee using the overhead crane had not been formally trained to use it.
Pelloby Engineering Limited was fined £12,000 with costs of £1,057 after pleading guilty of breaching Regulation 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The prosecution was brought by the Health & Safety Executive. HSE inspector Lyn Mizen said after the hearing: “This employee has suffered some horrendous injuries as a result of an entirely preventable incident. The employee leading the lifting operation was not trained to use the equipment or to recognise when it was unsafe to use. They were also not informed about the use of ‘tag lines’ which are designed to keep workers out of dangerous areas.
“Pelloby Engineering Limited fell far below the standards expected of a competent employer, standards which are well publicised and accepted within the industry.”