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Wed October 23 2019

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Loader crane faults lead to suspended jail sentence

20 Sep The owner of a now-dissolved landscaping company has been given a suspended jail sentence and a community service order after a dangerously faulty lorry loader crane shattered the operator’s arm.

The crane safety system had been disabled and part of the safety guard around the controls had been cut off
The crane safety system had been disabled and part of the safety guard around the controls had been cut off

Hafeez Ghafoor, formerly a director of R K United Ltd, was prosecuted for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries.

Leeds Crown Court heard that on 25th August 2016, an employee of RK United Ltd was using a lorry loader crane to deliver soil to a new house on Otley Road in Leeds. As he brought the crane boom down, his left arm was impaled on a spike that was protruding from the control system. The impact caused several bones in his arm to be shattered.

The subsequent investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the crane had severe defects, including a disabled safety system, and part of the safety guard around the controls had been cut off, leaving the spike on which his arm was impaled.

On top of this, the worker had not received appropriate training to operate the crane.

Hafeez Ghafoor of Park Road, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Yolande Burns-Sleightholme said: “This injury was easily preventable, and the risk should have been identified. The lorry loader crane should have been properly maintained, regular inspections carried out, and a thorough examination taken place every 12 months. The disabled safety system would have been found during the examination, ensuring that this incident could not have occurred.”

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