A construction company has been fined £10,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries when the forklift truck he was working on overturned, throwing him to the floor.
On 23rd June 2015, Worsley Projects Limited (trading as Egan Projects) was employed by Edmundson Electrical to complete refurbishment work on a newly leased unit. Some of the required work included the installation of new IT cabling between the new unit and the existing building. At the time of the incident, the existing cabling was being attached approximately seven metres above the road surface, affixed with plastic cable ties. As the work neared completion, a fork lift truck and man-riding cage overturned due to a slope in the road.
The worker operating the lift truck tried to grab the existing cable as the vehicle overturned, but fell to the floor, suffering serious injuries to his pelvis, vertebrae and right hand.
Following the incident, an investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Worsley Projects had completed a risk assessment and method statement prior to the job commencing, and concluded that the work would be carried out by use of a forklift truck and attached man-riding cage. The HSE’s findings were that the incident could have been avoided with the provision of more suitable equipment which would have eliminated the need to work on the sloped road surface.
HSE Inspector, David Norton, said of the incident: “Falls from height are still the most common cause of serious accidents in the workplace in the UK and many could have been prevented if the correct equipment had been selected and used. This is the situation in this case where a cherry picker type Mobile Elevating Working Platform (MEWP) could have avoided the sloped road surface where the incident occurred.”
Following the hearing, Worsley Projects Limited was found guilty of breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Working at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £10,000 with further costs of £1,194.35.