A Cleckheaton engineering firm has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries.
Gateshead Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 February 2015, Kevin Tait was using equipment to lift an 18 tonne steel roll at the company’s premises at Carlington Court, Factory Road, Blaydon-on-Tyne. The equipment being used was not suitable for the lifting operation due to the fact that the load being lifted exceeded the equipment’s safe working load.
During the lift, part of one of the shortening clutches sheared causing the load to swing and strike Mr Tait on the head. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court the lifting operation had not been suitably planned and the equipment in use was poorly maintained.
H E Realisations Ltd (now in liquidation, formerly Hogg Engineering Ltd) pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Reg 8(1) of the Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
The company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £2230 costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Catterall commented: “Lifting operations are hazardous and require a competent person to properly plan and supervise them to ensure that suitable and properly maintained equipment is used in the right configuration to avoid exceeding safe working loads.
“Kevin is incredibly lucky that he was not killed in this incident and he has suffered permanent life changing injuries as a result. This workplace accident has changed the lives of Kevin and his family irrevocably.”