Engineering company fined after worker sustains head injury

An engineering firm has been fined after a worker suffered a serious head injury whilst assembling a steel frame.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 12 March 2018, an employee from an engineering company was injured when a steel frame he was assembling came off two supporting battens and fell on him pinning his head to the floor. The worker suffered a fractured skull and nerve damage as a result.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company did not have a safe system of work in place and there were no risk assessments for assembly work. The company also failed to provide information, instruction and training regarding the risks of working below heavy components and the precautions necessary to ensure safety. The steel frame should have been securely mounted on wheels to keep it safe when employees worked below it, but at the time of the incident it had been supported on wooden battens.

The Engineering Company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,687.75.

Speaking after the case, the HSE inspector said: “This case highlights the importance of assessing risks in assembly work and the need to ensure safe systems of work when carrying out tasks below heavy components.

“Quantum Engineering Developments Limited failed to assess the risks and had not instructed their employees about safe systems of work to be used. This failure led to an employee being seriously injured.”

The injured employee, stated “I can’t even begin to put into words how this stressful and testing time had impacted me and my family.”