Monday, 30 June 2014

Worker crushed by almost half a tonne of MDF

Specialist Joinery Projects Ltd., an Essex joinery firm was fined £10,598 (inc. costs) after en employee was crushed by almost half a tonne of MDF.
The circumstances were:
  • The MDF boards were stored vertically and leant against racking.
  • The boards, each weighing 30kg were unsecured and not racked.
  • On 26 September 2013, a worker removed 3 boards to be sawn. 
  • A suction effect caused a further 15 boards, with a total weight of 450kg,  to topple on him, knocking him over. 
  • As he fell he gashed his head on a stack of timber, and was then pinned to the concrete floor under the weight of the boards for several minutes before being freed.
  • He suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken collar bone, five broken ribs and a gash to his head.

The HSE Inspector said:
“The risks from falling timber and board material in the wood-working industry are well-known. There have been a number of incidents in recent years, including fatalities, where poorly-stored and unsecured boards have fallen on workers. Specialist Joinery Projects should have ensured boarding was secure and that there was a safe process for using and handling boarding for employees to follow. Simple and relatively inexpensive control measures, such as racking, would have prevented this incident and the serious injuries incurred by this worker.”

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