Cleaning concrete mixers at Stanton Bonna involves operators lying in the mixer to clean the discharge chute door, which discharges the mixed concrete into hoppers below. The lid is winched open and a steel prop inserted into the lid to keep it open. Or at least, that was how it used to be done until recently.
Derby Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 23rd December 2014, as the lid was being winched, the wire rope snapped and the lid fell onto the workers head, crushing it between the lid and the mixer. The man sustained a broken jaw requiring four screws put into his mouth to fix it.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the winch and wire rope had not been inspected or maintained, and there was inadequate risk assessment.
Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd of Stanton by Dale, Ilkeston, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £270,000 and ordered to pay costs of £24,248.10.
HSE inspector Lindsay Bentley said: “This incident was entirely preventable, had had Stanton Bonna Ltd fully assessed the risks associated with the task and maintained the wire rope. Furthermore, following the incident an alternative method of cleaning the mixer, which didn’t involve employees getting into it, was adopted.”