A manufacturer of large concrete panels and a plant hire company were fined a total of £3.8 Million and ordered to pay £27,844 costs following the death of an employee at a factory in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
The deceased was working in the raised basket of a mobile elevating working platform (MEWP) removing the lifting attachments from the top of a concrete panel, which weighed about eleven tonnes and was stored on a transport pallet. The accident took place when the panel started to topple and struck the MEWP throwing him from the basket. It also caused a number of other concrete panels to topple, one of which fell onto him.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that the frame used to secure the panel was not properly connected to the pallet, as a locking pin had not been correctly reinserted after the frame had previously been replaced, and there was no system of pre-use checks. The pallets were in a poor condition, with defects including missing support bearers and stabilising legs. Other failures included the storage of large freestanding concrete panels in the finishing area, which should have been secured in storage racks, and a lack of sufficient planning. The investigation also identified concerns with the wider systems for the storage of concrete panels at the site