A construction worker was killed in an accident that the Health and Safety Executive has qualified as ‘entirely foreseeable’. The twenty-six year old father of one sustained fatal crush injuries to his upper body when he was struck by the boom of a crane. The crane had been in the process of lifting a skip filled with liquid concrete, when the skip overturned and the accident occurred.
The subsequent Health and Safety Executive investigation discovered that the construction company managing the works had failed to properly plan the lifting operations undertaken on site. They had also not provided supervision for the operation, which attempted to use the crane to lift a load far beyond its capacity.
The company in question was prosecuted and fined £80,000; it was also ordered to pay £66,000 in court costs. A director of the company was also prosecuted for breaching health and safety regulations, and was ordered to pay a fine of £7,500 and costs of £25,000.
Many accidents at work are sadly entirely avoidable, but occur because the correct measures have not been taken to safeguard employees. Health and safety training, compliance with regulations and effective risk assessments can all help to minimise the risk of such awful accidents.