A company has been fined £200,000 after an employee was crushed by a 700kg crate filled with replacement glass.
The man who was working at a warehouse located in Stakehill Industrial Estate, Middleton, was moving the crate, with the help of another colleague on the 16th June 2021.
The two employees placed the crate on a set of skates and intended to push the load through the PSV Glass and Glazing warehouse. All was going "well" until the crate became unbalanced and fell, trapping the 29 year old worker underneath.
The incident caused the worker to suffer two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a fractured vertebra. Six screws and a plate had to be inserted during surgery to fix the vertebra.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) conducted a full investigation and found that PSV Glass and Glazing Limited's system of operation within the warehouse was dangerous. In addition to an inadequate system of work to move the crates, the company also had no suitable risk assessment despite a previous similar incident.
HSE inspector Sharon Butler said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided. Employers should ensure they carry out an assessment of the risks when moving and handling loads and that the correct equipment is identified and used
PSV Glass & Glazing Limited, of Hillbottom Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £4,897.05 in costs at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 26 May 2023.
Moving goods correctly will reduce injuries and ill health arising from the movement of goods from supplier, through to the recipient. Employers must focus on areas that cause the majority of injuries and ill-health to workers, such as, workplace transport, slips & trips and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and carry out regular risk assessments to ensure employees are fully trained and aware of risk and equipment is safe to use.
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