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Recycling firm fined after two employees hurt in fall

Eurokey Recycling Ltd has been in court after two of its employees fell over two metres while fixing a roller-shutter door.

What happened?

When Richard Norton and Craig Dunn arrived on the site to carry out the work, they found two forklift trucks, each with a caged container balanced on the prongs of the truck.

The pair each got inside a cage and were lifted two to three metres while the removed the faulty part of the roller-shutter door. The cages, however, weren’t lowered at the same speed, which destabilised the loads and caused them to fall to the ground.

The two men both sustained injuries because of the fall; Mr Norton, 43, broke his wrist and was unable to work for five months. Mr Dunn, 30, suffered several torn muscles in his back and was off work for 12 weeks.

An investigation into the incident found that the cages didn’t have fork ‘pockets’ to secure them to the trucks, and hadn’t been sufficiently strapped to the forklift. Additionally, neither of the men had been aware that the containers were not designed to lift people, but rather were for transporting goods.

What was the outcome?

Eurokey Recycling Ltd was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,880, after admitting to breaching of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

HSE inspector David Lefever said:

“The system of work employed for the work activity was totally
inappropriate and posed an obvious risk to the safety of
the people being lifted. People should never be
lifted on a pallet or similar container,
balanced on the forks of a lift
truck because they can
easily fall off.

“Non-integrated working platforms, such as man-cages, may only
be used in exceptional circumstances for occasional
unplanned use. Examples might be maintenance
tasks where it would be impracticable
to hire-in purpose-built access
equipment. That was not the
case here.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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