The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a Sheffield-based company, after a worker lost his middle two fingers while trying to repair its main entrance gate.
The incident occurred when a guide roller on the underside of the gate at LKAB Minerals (Richmond) Ltd collapsed and two employees were asked by their line manager to make the repair.
The two workers attached a four-leg lifting chain to a forklift truck to lift the gate, which weighed in excess of 400kg.
However, the chains were too long, so were adjusted using a shortening hook – one of the men used the forklift to lift the gate approximately 18 inches above the ground, so that his colleague could access the guide roller on the underside.
However, as he reached beneath the gate, the chains slipped and the gate fell onto his hand, causing him to lose his ring finger and his middle finger up to the first knuckle on his right hand.
At Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, LKAB Minerals (Richmond) Ltd of Coleford Road in Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company was fined £8,000 with £2,080.40 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Eddy Tarn said:
“This injury was easily prevented – and the risks should have been identified.
“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 those safe methods, along with effective supervision and monitoring.”
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