Sunday, 23 October 2016

Smiths Metal Centres fined £132,000 after trolley overturned causing worker to lose most of his foot

Smiths Metal Centres Limited, a Bedfordshire metal company was fined £132,456 after a worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot.
The circumstances were:
  • Smiths purchased four wheeled trolley to be used as ‘workstations’ about 20 years ago.
  • However, employees had chosen to also use them to move metal stock around the site.
  • There was no risk assessment or written system of work for these trolleys.
  • A bundle of 18 stainless steel bars weighing about 900kg was a trolley.
  • The trolley had faulty wheels and there was no record of any maintenance.
  • The trolley was manually moved by Mr Simpson and another staff member 
  • It tipped over and the bundle of bars fell off the top of the trolley trapping his leg and foot. 
  • He was rushed to hospital by the emergency services. 
  • Mr Simpson’s right leg was broken and his right foot was badly crushed. 
  • Despite a number of operations to save his foot, most of it was amputated and he now has a prosthetic foot. It was many months before he was able to return to work. 
  • Mr Simpson is currently only able to work on a part-time basis.
  • After the accident, the trolley was given a safe working load of 500kg, ie half the weight placed on the trolley at the time of the accident.

The HSE Inspector Emma Page said:
“Luke’s life has been drastically altered by what happened and this incident could have been very easily avoided with some very simple measures. The right equipment and a correct maintenance system would have prevented this from happening.”

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