Southwark Crown Court heard how on 27th September 2016, at Hanson Quarry Products’ Kings Cross site in York Way, a forklift was being used to lift and swivel a large metal gate. The gate was suspended from a chain on an O-ring that was slotted onto one of the tines of the forklift truck with nothing to prevent it sliding off. As the gate was being lifted, it slipped off the tines and fell to the floor, slicing through the welder hand.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the lift was not properly planned or supervised to ensure that it was carried out in a safe way.
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. It was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £11,376.25.
HSE inspector Jane Wolfenden said after the case: “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.”