Accident at work leads to paralysis for Manchester man


An HGV driver working for a Scaffolding company, suffered severe injuries to his head, back and leg after being crushed by metal tubes which fell from a crane.

The 31-year-old father of 2 is now paraplegic and will never walk again.

After the accident at work in November 2008, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the scaffolding company.

Helping with the refurbishment of retail premises, the driver was using a vehicle-mounted crane to unload 21ft scaffolding tubes from the back of a truck, the local Crown Court heard.

As he worked the crane controls beneath the load, a lifting sling detached from the crane hook, causing metal tubes weighing nearly 1.5 tonnes to fall and crush him.

According to the HSE investigation, the company failed adequately to plan the work and the employee was also not properly trained or supervised.

The court was also told how a faulty safety catch on the crane hook led to the scaffolding tubes falling and causing the crush injury. Although the company had known of the problem prior to the accident, the firm took no action to replace the catch, while the employee had not been trained to understand its importance.

Pleading guilty to breaching the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £45,000 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Lindsay Hope noted that the accident at work had left the employee severely disabled and that he could easily have been killed.

"Companies that operate lorry-mounted cranes must ensure their operators undertake appropriate, recognised training in all aspects," said Mr Hope. "Operators of lorry-mounted cranes must be competent to use the equipment properly and plan safe lifting in variable site conditions."

"In this instance, the lift wasn't properly planned or supervised and the employee hadn't been sufficiently trained in how to use the crane and slings properly."

"Furthermore, the equipment had not been properly maintained and should never have been used."

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