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HGV driver on flatbed hit by falling steel beam

  • 24 June 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Two engineering businesses have been fined a total of £26,000 after a truck driver’s hand was badly damaged as he unloaded steel beams.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Stirling Sheriff Court was told that in October 2010 Kevin Bradley, then aged 54, was working as an HGV driver for Hamilton, South Lanarkshire-based Hugh Logan Plant and Engineering Services trading as Skerrysteel Services.

Bradley had delivered the beams to Falburn Engineering’s premises in Stirling, and was working with a forklift truck driver from Falburn on the unloading operation.

He was standing on the flatbed trailer when the forklift began to raise the second bundle. As it was lifted, the steel became unstable and rolled away from the forklift truck.

The metal strapping broke and the beams separated, falling towards Bradley. He tried to jump out of the way but was hit by one of the beams which trapped his feet against the flatbed trailer.

Bradley fell towards the ground with his feet still trapped and put his right hand down to break his fall.

All four fingers were shattered and he had a laceration across the palm that damaged the nerves, exposed the tendons and cut the blood supply to his fingers.

He underwent a 12-hour emergency operation to save and rebuild his right hand but he has yet to regain sufficient function in it to return to work as an HGV driver and may never do so.

An HSE investigation determined it would have been good practice to sling the load using a truck fitted with a hook attachment, and that the beams should not have been lifted until Bradley had returned to the ground and was in a safe position.

Hugh Logan Plant and Engineering Services was fined £16,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Falburn Engineering was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 of the same Act.

The HSE investigation found that Hugh Logan Plant and Engineering Services failed to:
. make a sufficient assessment of the risks to employees involved in the delivery and unloading of steel;
. provide necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure the safety of workers delivering and unloading steel;
. liaise with Falburn Engineering to ensure a safe system of work for unloading steel was in place and that the driver’s role had been agreed.

The HSE concluded that Falburn Engineering had failed to:
. make a sufficient assessment of the risks to visiting workers during unloading of steel;
. liaise with Hugh Logan Plant and Engineering Services to ensure a safe system of work for unloading steel was in place and that the driver’s role had been agreed.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/hgv-driver-on-flatbed-hit-by-falling-steel-beam