Boiler company fined £120,000 after worker suffers serious crush injuries

On 2nd November 2018, Paul Madarasz was machining a two-tonne metal plate on a vertical borer machine. The metal cover plate was not sitting flush on the table due to some dirt or debris. He raised one side of the metal plate above the machine table using an overhead crane with C shaped hook, so that he could clean the machine table underneath with a rag. While he was doing so, the cover plate slipped off the lifting attachment trapping his arm underneath. Mr Madarasz has had to undergo several long operations on his lower and upper arm and is unlikely to regain full function in his right arm.

An investigation by the HSE found that there was no safe system of work for this activity. This specific lifting operation and cleaning activity had not been assessed, which resulted in employees using a variety of unsafe methods.

Leeds and Bradford Boiler Co Ltd based in Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £7,692 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Jones said, “Lifting operations and foreseeable activities including cleaning should be properly assessed and planned. Other employees were also at risk of injury by falling metal plates. This incident could so easily have been avoided by using suitable lifting accessories, implementing safe working practices, and ensuring these are followed through appropriate supervision and monitoring.”

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