A contractor and a water management company have been fined after a worker was injured when he was hit by a 1.5 tonne water valve.
The Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 June 2018, the water company had hired a contractor to connect a 1.5 tonne water valve in a confined chamber at a local reservoir. The valve was suspended from a lorry mounted crane when it swung across the chamber and struck the worker. He sustained an open compound fracture of his tibia and fibula and was airlifted to hospital.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that both companies had failed to risk assess the work and the additional hazards introduced by a change in the scope of work. They failed to implement suitable safety measures and safe systems of work; and provide adequate supervision to the workers.
The water management company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £365,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,360.69 and a victim surcharge of £120.00.
The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 etc. They were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,452.22 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said: “Companies must understand that work activities involving confined spaces, work at height and lifting operations must be subject to a robust risk assessment. Furthermore, risk assessments should be reviewed if the scope of work changes and additional hazards are introduced.
“Companies must also ensure that they have suitable safety control measures and safe systems of work in place to address the identified risks. Appropriate arrangements should be in place to supervise and monitor work.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)