Company Fined After Driver is Fatally Injured​

A steel company has been fined after one of their workers was fatally injured by steelwork, which fell from a telehandler forklift truck during loading. The below case shows how failing to implement safe systems of work can not only result in the tragic loss of life but also be very costly to the company at fault.

The Incident

​Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how on 4 April 2019, an employee of South East Galvanizers Limited had attended PCR Steel Ltd at their site in Star Industrial Estate, Essex to collect a load. The worker was carrying out an unplanned lifting operation, loading a metal balcony base frame onto a flatbed trailer, when the incident happened. The balcony frame (weighing 400kg) was not secured and as a result the frame fell on the worker who was standing on the back of the trailer bed, fatally crushing him.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Investigation

The HSE carried out an investigation and found the company were at fault for several health and safety failings:

  • Failure to ensure the lifting operation was conducted by a competent person, in a safe manner, and with adequate supervision.
  • Failure to implement a lift plan to move the balcony frames which considered the load’s security, size and weight.
  • There was no plan in place to set the load down, nor a plan to prevent people from being in the danger zone.

The Fine

PCR Steel Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,900.