Tool company fined after employee sustains fatal head injuries

On 13th November 2019, Ian Challinor, a maintenance engineer at the company, was working with colleagues to move a large and heavy milling machine using a forklift and machine-moving skates. During the work at the site on Swindon Road, Cheltenham, the machine became unstable and toppled onto him causing fatal head injuries.

The HSE investigation found the company had failed to assess and plan the task of moving the machine to determine a safe system of work, provide clear instructions to the workers and supervise the activity. In addition, the skates used were not adequately maintained or subject to a suitable inspection programme to ensure that they were safe to use.

Cheltenham Tool Company Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 plus costs of £13,033.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Annette Walker said, “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to ensure that this one-off task could be undertaken in a safe manner. The lifting and movement of heavy machinery is a specialist and often complex task requiring significant planning, expertise, knowledge and specialist equipment to ensure the risks are controlled.”

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