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Worker injured after safety cage falls to ground

telehandler man basketA construction firm has been fined after an employee of a sub-contractor suffered a head laceration and bruised ribs after the man riding basket he was in crashed five metres to the ground when it slid off the forks of a telehandler.

Pioneer Design and Build Ltd of Macon Court, Crewe, Cheshire, today pleaded guilty at Chester Magistrates Court of breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The Court heard that a number of safety measures were not in place. The man riding basket, which was waiting to be scrapped, was not secured to the telehandler by means of a retaining bar or chain, and only one of the forks had been inserted into the sleeves beneath the basket. As the operator was lowering the cage, he mistakenly tilted the forks downwards, and because he had failed to lock off the tilting mechanism, the unsecured cage slid off the telehandler forks and fell to the ground. The telehandler operative was not competent and had never undergone any formal training. Poor planning also contributed to the incident, and no risk assessment or safe method of working had been put in place for this particular task.

Pioneer Design and Build Ltd were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1444.30.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Christine McGlynn commented, “This incident was avoidable. The decision to use this equipment was flawed, followed by a failure to implement control measures to ensure the safety of workers. Non-integrated baskets should only be used in exceptional circumstances and only then in accordance with guidance”

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