Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Hampshire boat company was fined £16,119 after hatch closes on contractor

R F Composites Limited, a Hampshire based boat company was fined £16,119 (inc.costs) after one of their contracted boat builders was left unconscious for 10 minutes when a hydraulic engine hatch closed on him.
The circumstances were:
  • On 10 December 2014, a self-employed boat builder, contracted to work at the company, was looking inside an engine hatch on a boat. 
  • There was no prop fitted to the engine hatch to prevent it from inadvertently closing. 
  • The company also failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
  • The engine hatch closed on him, trapping him in the chest. 
  • He sustained trauma to his heart and lungs from the impact and was taken to hospital.

The HSE inspector said:
“The incident was wholly avoidable had RF Composites had in place a safe system of work to ensure the hydraulic engine hatch on a boat was suitably propped, eliminating any possibility of the hatch inadvertently closing on someone. 
I hope this incident will raise awareness in the boat building industry to ensure that when working with powered engine hatches, they should always be suitably propped to prevent them from inadvertently closing.”

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