13 Nov 2015

Building firm fined after worker hit by mobile platform

Construction company Base Build Services Limited has been prosecuted after a worker was injured by a boom type mobile elevated working platform (MEWP) when it fell from the forks of a tele-handler machine.

The 31-year-old worker from Birmingham broke his leg and suffered facial injuries in the incident at Abbey Trading Centre, Alvechurch Highway, Redditch on 19 November 2014.

Redditch Magistrates’ Court heard that the injured worker was employed by a groundworks contractor carrying out work for Base Build Services Limited.

A MEWP had been left in their area of work and needed to be moved to enable work to continue. A telescopic handler was being used to move the MEWP when it fell from its forks and hit the worker.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Base Build Services Limited was aware work was due to start in the area where the MEWP was stored and that the MEWP would need to be moved before work could continue. However, no plan or instructions for the removal of the MEWP had been provided.

In addition, the lead labourer was standing by the telescopic handler at the time that the lift was taking place but failed to take action to stop the lifting operation, even though it was clearly unsafe. The HSE investigation found that the telescopic handler was overloaded and the MEWP was not lifted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Base Build Services Limited, of Abbey Road, London, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,647.92

An average of 1,000 serious injuries and 10 fatalities occur every year in the UK following accidents involving scaffolding. That's 19 major injuries every week.

It is essential that the correct type of equipment is used to ensure that work can be carried out safely; detailed documentation should be supplied with the MEWP (also referred to as a cherry picker or scissor lift) and referred to for specific information. MEWPS have become an essential choice of equipment for short term work at height activities to maximise user safety.

For more information on MEWP safety click here

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