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A steel manufacturer has been fined after a delivery driver was crushed to death during a lifting operation.

The 47-year-old employee was killed when a balcony frame he was collecting fell from a telehandler forklift truck during loading at the company premises in Essex. The 400kg load was not secured and crushed the driver, who had been standing on the back of the trailer bed.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators found the company failed to ensure that the lifting operation was properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner.

There was no lift plan for the manoeuvring of balcony frames that could have considered the load’s security, size and weight. There was no plan for how the load would be set down, nor for how to exclude people from the danger zone.

The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,900 after pleading guilty to breaching regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations and section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

‘This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work,’ said HSE inspector Jill Mead. ‘Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.’

Source – IOSH

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