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Thompsons fined after worker has leg crushed by steel sheets

  • 30 October 2013
  • By Roger Brown

Truck bodybuilder Thompsons (UK) has been fined £14,000 after a worker’s leg was crushed by a pack of 6m steel sheets when it slid and fell during unloading.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that self-employed lorry driver Andrew Trotter, 52, from Stoke-on-Trent, was working alongside employees of the firm at its site in New Addington, Croydon, in January 2012.

Trotter had delivered the sheet of metal packs in his flatbed lorry and Thompson workers were unloading them using a tandem lift by two counter-balanced forklift trucks.

The packs were being reloaded onto a separate lorry before being taken to the company’s factory.
However, the reloading was unbalanced and as a second pack was being placed on the first, a loose wooden baton became dislodged and the whole sheet steel pack started to slide. Trotter, who was picking up straps between the two trucks, was struck by the corner of the pack – weighing almost four tonnes – before it hit the concrete floor.

He suffered a fractured leg and muscle damage and now has limited knee and ankle movement.
An HSE investigation found that a lack of planning led to Trotter being able to work in close proximity to the chassis as the hazardous reloading was taking place. Thompsons (UK) was also ordered to pay £11,284 in costs after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, as well as a separate breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.


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