Health and Safety News

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Manchester worker paralysed in crane crush

A scaffolder from Manchester will never walk again after being crushed by metal tubes which fell from a crane.

David Collins, a 31-year-old father of two who worked for Bury firm Spectra Scaffolding, suffered severe injuries to his head, back and leg and is now paraplegic.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Spectra Scaffolding following the incident on 7 November 2008 at Festival Park, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, where refurbishment to retail premises was being undertaken.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how Mr Collins was unloading 21ft long scaffolding tubes from the back of a truck using a vehicle-mounted crane.

As he stood under the load operating the crane controls, one of the lifting slings detached from the crane hook, causing the metal tubes, which weighed nearly one and a half tonnes, to fall onto him.

HSE’s investigation into the incident found Mr Collins had not been properly trained or supervised and Spectra Scaffolding had failed to plan the work adequately.

The court also heard that a safety catch on the crane hook was faulty, which led to the scaffolding tubes falling. Although the company had known about this for some time before the incident, no action was taken to replace the catch and Mr Collins had not been trained to realise its importance.

Spectra Scaffolding, of Warth Road Industrial Estate, Bury, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £45,000 costs.


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