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Bus builder fined after Falkirk worker hit by steel platform

Alexander Dennis Ltd. has been fined after a worker was injured by a bus floor platform which slipped while being lifted into position.

Samuel Murray, 56, from Plains, North Lanarkshire was working in the welding bays of bus body manufacturing firm, Alexander Dennis Ltd, in Falkirk on 16 September 2009.

He had requested a forklift truck driver to lift and transport a steel floor platform weighing nearly 120 kilograms from the goods yard to the welding bays in the chassis shop.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that the forklift truck driver placed extensions on to the forks of the truck to move the platform but did not properly secure either the forks or the load. In the chassis shop, the platform was lowered and Mr Murray placed a sling underneath and around the uneven load for it to be manoeuvred onto the chassis. He then looped the sling around one of the extension forks.

Mr Murray, assisted by two other employees, began manually lining up the platform and chassis while the fork lift driver adjusted the angle the forks were tilted at and lowered them slightly. This motion resulted in one end of the sling coming loose causing one end of the platform to swing up and strike Mr Murray on the chin.

Mr Murray sustained a deep cut to his chin, which needed to be stitched and required emergency dental treatment for four broken teeth. He was off work for ten weeks.

Following the incident, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Alexander Dennis Ltd had not properly assessed the risks in transporting, handling and positioning floor platforms onto bus chassis. HSE inspectors found workers simply relied on the weight of the platform as the only way of securing it to the forklift truck while transporting it.

The company, of Charlotte Square, Edinburgh pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and was fined £50,000.

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