Engineering firm fined after worker suffers severe leg injuries

Workers at GEA Mechanical Engineering Limited (GEA) were attempting to lift a 900kg “decanter scroll” back into its mobile trailer following a service in the workshop. Struggling to manoeuver it far enough into the trailer, they asked an employee from the office staff to assist them.

47-year-old Ralph Jago, a technical support supervisor, went to their aid but during an attempt to lift the decanter, it slid forward trapping Mr Jago’s right leg against metal racking, badly breaking it. He was trapped for an hour and a half before fire and rescue services were able to free him.  He suffered serious fractures to his right leg requiring metal rods and pins to be inserted.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation into the incident revealed that the company failed to ensure staff were suitably trained and competent to plan and carry out a lift of this complexity.

GEA Mechanical Equipment (UK) Limited, of Westfalia House, Wolverton Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,831.

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