Forklift accident

Quarry worker breaks leg in two places

A quarry worker suffered a broken leg after heavy stones toppled on top of him in a workplace accident.

The injured man was working at a Quarry in the Cotswolds removing large pieces of stone – called scants – from the quarry when the incident occurred in July 2009.

He was using a fork lift truck to move the stones by putting them on the forks. However, while performing this task, the stones were not stabilised on the truck correctly. They fell from the forks and landed on his lower body.

The weight of the stones caused him a serious injury. His left leg was broken in two separate places, and causing him severe pain. Unfortunately, he was working alone, unable to call for help and trapped under the weight of the scants. He used a hammer close to hand to knock a lever on the truck which raised the forks and lifted the stones off him. He then dragged himself up and sounded the horn to alert his colleagues.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and decided to prosecute the owner of the quarry after finding numerous failings. No risk assessment had been performed, nor a safe method of working determined to secure the stones. Additionally, the work should not have been carried out by someone working alone.

The quarry owner was fined £5,000 for breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act at Gloucester Magistrates’ Court during the second week of January 2011.