Overhead crane worker suffers life changing injuries during lifting operation

H E Realisations Ltd has been fined £40,000 after a worker suffered life changing injuries when an unsuitable crane was used during a lifting operation at the engineering firm's premises in Blaydon-on-Tyne.

Kevin Tait was lifting an 18 tonne steel roll at Carlington Court on February 24, 2015 but Gateshead Magistrates’ Court heard that the load exceeded the equipment’s safe working load.

During the lift, part of one of the shortening clutches sheared causing the load to swing and strike Mr Tait on the head.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court the lifting operation had not been suitably planned and the equipment in use was poorly maintained.

H E Realisations Ltd of Moorland House, Snelisins Road, Cleckheaton (now in liquidation, formerly Hogg Engineering Ltd) pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Reg 8(1) of the Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. As well as the £40,000 fine, the firm was also ordered to pay costs of £2,230.

HSE inspector Laura Catterall said: “Lifting operations are hazardous and require a competent person to properly plan and supervise them to ensure that suitable and properly maintained equipment is used in the right configuration to avoid exceeding safe working loads.

“Kevin is incredibly lucky that he was not killed in this incident and he has suffered permanent life changing injuries as a result. This workplace accident has changed the lives of Kevin and his family irrevocably.”

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