Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Milking firm in court after worker injured at Derbyshire farm

A Shropshire milking company has been fined after a worker suffered a fractured skull when he was hit by a steel beam at a Derbyshire farm just a day after he started his job.

The employee, 49, from Preston, was asked to help an experienced engineer install a milking parlour at Brookley Meadows Farm, Thurvaston, Derbyshire, on 5 July 2011, his second day at work for United Milking Systems Ltd.

On 30 August, Derby Magistrates were told that part of the work involved installing four 80kg steel beams at a height of around two metres. The two men tried to install one of them by having one person hold it over his head while the second climbed a stepladder, took the beam from the first person and placed it on to a wall bracket.

The engineer had rested one end of the beam on the wall bracket and they were lifting it on to the opposite bracket when it slipped. As one end hit the floor the vibration caused the engineer on the stepladder to lose his grip on the beam and it landed on the new employee’s head.

He suffered a fractured skull and lacerations and was off work for six weeks.

An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found it could have been prevented had the company used suitable lifting equipment.

United Milking Systems Ltd., of Tern Hill, Market Drayton, Shropshire, admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.


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