Tuesday, 24 June 2014

IBC Vehicles fined nearly £180,000 after crane operator was crushed

IBC Vehicles Ltd., a vehicle manufacturer was fined nearly £180,000 (inc. costs) on 23 June 2014 after a crane operator suffered severe crush injuries in a lifting operation.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a crane in the press shop.
  • The protective frame around the control levers of the crane designed to prevent inadvertent operation was missing.
  • 10 cranes in the press shop had previously missed annual examinations by as much as 12 months.
  • Some failed to have identified maintenance issues acted upon. 
  • The provision of training and information for employees was inadequate to ensure that lifting operations were carried out safely.
  • On 1 July 2011 the crane operator lowered an eight-tonne die block into its storage position, 
  • He was unhooking it from the crane’s lifting chains when the 50-tonne crane started to move, dragging the block towards him and crushing him against another block behind him.
  • He suffered multiple injuries including fractures to the upper left arm, breastbone, right collarbone and ribs; as well as collapsed lungs. He was hospitalised for two weeks and has had numerous operations since.

The HSE Inspector said:
“There were multiple failings on the part of IBC Vehicles Ltd. Cranes had not been maintained or inspected properly, operators had not been given adequate information or regular training, and lifting operations were not properly planned, including in particular the systems for daily checks on the equipment, to ensure the lifts were then carried out safely. Although only a small number of these failings may have contributed towards the incident in July 2011, as a whole they had the potential to create a serious risk to which many employees at the company would have been exposed for some considerable time.”

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