£40k fine for Welwyn Garden City firm over hand injuries

PUBLISHED: 16:19 22 February 2011

Archant

A CONSTRUCTION company from WGC has been ordered to pay £40,000 after a worker suffered severe injuries to his hand.

"It is simply not acceptable the companies involved in this incident failed to take action when a crucial piece of safety equipment broke."

HSE inspector Monica Babb

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted two firms after the accident, at a development in Westminster, London, last July.

Sean Forsythe, a 22-year-old labourer, was cleaning a screed pump, which is used to move concrete from a mixer to the floor of a building.

The hose he was using to clean the pump got caught in the rotating blades of the mixer, pulling his hand into the machine, the court was told.

Mr Forsythe suffered severe cuts to his right hand, leaving him with permanent damage.

HSE’s investigation found the screed pump had no safety grill to stop the blades rotating when it was lifted. A few months earlier another grille had broken off a pump but was not replaced – despite a written procedure being in place.

LCS Interiors Ltd, which was based in Little Burrow, WGC, but now uses a registered address in Brighton, was responsible for the weekly inspection of the plant and machinery.

It was found guilty at the Old Bailey of breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £30,000.

Kent Commercial Finishings Ltd, of Monkhurst House, Sandy Cross, Heathfield, East Sussex, was the contractor which hired the screed pump.

It admitted the same breach at an earlier hearing, and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Monica Babb said it had been “a completely avoidable incident”.

She said: “It is simply not acceptable the companies involved in this incident failed to take action when a crucial piece of safety equipment broke.”

“Had staff been adequately supervised and if the equipment had been properly maintained, this incident would not have happened.”


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