Firm fined after worker is injured

A Midlands steelwork firm has been ordered to pay over £20,000 in fines and costs after a metal sheet fell on a worker’s foot.

Frank H Dale Ltd, based in Herefordshire, pleaded guilty to breaking health and safety regulations following the incident in October 2012.

Court heard that the 30-year-old employee had been asked to move the metal sheets, each weighing 180kg, using an overheard crane and lifting magnet.

He had already moved two of the objects, when the third detached from the crane. It bounced off the conveyor and landed on the man’s foot, fracturing three toes. He had to take six weeks off work to recover from his injuries.

When the Health and Safety Executive investigated, they found the magnet was unsuitable for lifting this type of metal sheet and the manufacturers’ instructions had not been followed.
Last week, Frank H Dale Ltd was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay an extra £11,631 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said: “This incident could easily have been avoided had the company provided suitable training.

“It was nothing more than luck that the first two sheets were successfully moved and the injured employee was very fortunate that the 180kg metal sheet fell on to a conveyor before landing on his foot. Had it landed on him directly then a more serious injury may have been inflicted.”

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