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Sun June 13 2021

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Steel firm fined for scissor lift spill

11 Jun 13 A South Wales steel fabricator has been fined £10,000 after a man was knocked out of a scissor lift by an overhead crane in its workshop.

Dollcast's workshop
Dollcast's workshop

The incident happened in the fabrication workshop of Dollcast Ltd at the Village Farm Industrial Estate, Pyle, on 14 January 2012. The victim was using a scissor lift at a height of 6m to replace high level lights when it was hit by the gantry crane. He fell to the factory floor and broke five ribs.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Dollcast had failed to put in place a suitable system of work.

Dollcast Ltd of Dunraven Street, Tonypandy, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,671 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lee Schilling said: "This was a serious incident and, in a fall of six metres, this worker was lucky not to have lost his life. It was also needless and avoidable.

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"The incident could have easily been prevented if a simple, suitable system of work had been used by Dollcast, including the secure isolation of the overhead crane from its power supply.

"This would have been a straightforward process of establishing a break in the power supply, normally by using a lockable isolator switch, and then securing the switch in the 'off' position using a padlock to prevent it being switched back on until the maintenance work had finished.

"Working at height is a significant risk activity across all industries. Last year more than 6,300 employees suffered major injuries following a fall. Working at height must always be properly planned."

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