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Glossop metals firm in court over employee's crane injuries

Photo shows the open-sided metal container which struck the worker

A Glossop-based metal manufacturer has appeared in court after an employee was injured when he was struck by a container as it swung from an overhead crane.

Firth Rixson Metals Ltd., which produces specialised metals for the aerospace, medical, oil and nuclear industries, was prosecuted on 1 October 2013 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its factory on Shepley Street on 23 June 2012.

Buxton Magistrates' Court heard the worker, a 50-year-old local man who does want to be named, had been using an overhead travelling crane, which runs along rails on the factory roof, to lift an open-sided container carrying more than 50 long metal tubes.

As he lifted the 300kg container, known as a stillage, the tubes slid out, which caused it to swing in the opposite direction. It struck the worker and broke his right leg in two places.

The HSE investigation found two plate clamps had been used in diagonally opposite corners of the stillage, which meant it became unstable when it was lifted.

The court was told the company should have found another way of moving the metal tubes using appropriate work equipment, so that workers were not put at risk. The fact that the stillage was open-sided meant that there was a high risk of the tubes sliding out when it was lifted.

Firth Rixson Metals Ltd., of Johnson Lane, Ecclesfield, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,024 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.


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