Forklift accidents

Two workers fall four metres from an insecure platform

fallen working platform1st Oct 2013. A Leicestershire building company has been fined after two workers fell four metres from an insecure platform balanced on the raised forks of a telehandler.

Leicester Magistrates' Court today (26 Sept) heard that the company was building a new house on land in Stretton Road, Great Glen, when the incident happened on 25 April 2013.

The managing director, his son and a self-employed builder and self-employed joiner arrived on site and decided to take some photographs of the partially completed project to record progress.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that in order to get a high level shot an enclosed work platform was placed on the forks of a telehandler and raised with two men inside. However it was not secured to the forks and as the telehandler extended the platform slid off sending the two workers crashing to the ground.

Both men were airlifted to hospital. One was diagnosed with a fractured heel and spine compression requiring pins. He was off work for three months.

The other man suffered a broken collarbone, collapsed lung, fractured pelvis, lacerated spleen and three broken ribs and has not yet been able to return to work.

The company of Stretton Road, Great Glen, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £460.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Tony Mitchell said:

"This was an ill-conceived and totally preventable incident that resulted in two people suffering significant injuries which could easily have been fatal.

Work platforms on telehandlers are not suitable for construction work unless special control systems are in place. More importantly they must be securely attached."