Companies fined after engineer fell six meters, fracturing ribs and puncturing lung

Two companies have received a combined fine of £100,000 after an engineer suffered multiple rib fractures, and a punctured lung when he fell six meters from a crane.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 4:13 pm

The charges were brought by Rotherham Council following a serious incident at the premises of Yorkshire Stainless on Waddington Way, Rotherham in October 2016.

A crane engineer, employed by Technical Cranes, attended the site to a report of a fault with the overhead travelling crane.

An investigation by Rotherham Council revealed that the crane engineer had accessed the crane while being lifted in a wooden crate that was balanced on the forks of a forklift truck operated by an employee of Yorkshire Stainless.

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Rotherham Council.

As the crate was being lowered it overbalanced causing the crane engineer to fall approximately 6 metres onto the concrete floor below suffering serious injuries including multiple rib fractures, a punctured lung, a fractured sternum and multiple fractures of the pelvis.

Following the incident, a prohibition notice was served on Yorkshire Stainless Limited to prevent persons being lifted using inappropriate working platforms and without adequate precautions in place to prevent falls of the person and/or working platform.

Yorkshire Stainless Limited was charged with breaches of Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and of Regulation 9(3) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

Technical Cranes was charged with a single breach of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Councillor Dominic Beck, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “This incident could easily have resulted in a fatality and shows the importance of companies ensuring that they risk assess and appropriately plan high risk activities, such as work at height, and supervise and monitor such work to ensure that it is undertaken safely.

“The fine handed down to these companies should serve as a warning to others and I’d like to place on record my thanks to those that have been instrumental in bringing this investigation to the courts.”

Yorkshire Stainless Ltd pleaded guilty to all three charges brought against them and were fined £50,000 in relation to the Section 3 charge plus a £170 victim surcharge and ordered to pay costs of £6,930.36. No separate penalty was applied for the other breaches of legislation.

Technical Cranes pleaded guilty to the charge brought against them and were also fined £50,000 plus a £170 victim surcharge and ordered to pay costs of £6,930.36.