Sheffield employee crushed

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BOSSES at a steelworks foundry have been ordered pay out more than £76,000 after a worker suffered multiple injuries when he was hit by a 1.6 tonne steel bar.

Dennis Hibberd, aged 61, was working at Padley and Venables in Dronfield when a nine-metre long bar - and the steel barrow on which it was travelling - fell as they were being pushed from one part of the foundry site to another by a tow truck.

He broke both legs and his pelvis, crushed his right foot, and damaged his left knee. He needed three operations and was in hospital for 10 weeks.

Mr Hibberd, who lives in Dronfield, only recently returned to work at the firm part-time following the incident in April 2011.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the steel bar was not secured to the barrow, the barrow had no brakes, and it was simply being shunted rather than having a physical connection.

Chesterfield Magistrates were told the company had designed and made the barrows itself, but failed to monitor if the design was sufficiently safe.

Padley and Venables Ltd, of Callywhite Lane, was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £16,419 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

After the hearing HSE inspector Fiona Coffey said: “The company failed to consider the risks.

“The route being taken to bring long steel bars from the forge room to the saws meant passing in close proximity to employees.

“Reasonable precautions could and should have been taken to ensure the bars’ safe movement.

“Instead, a man suffered serious injuries that had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on his quality of life.”