An engineering firm has been fined £12,000 after a worker was struck by a metal frame weighing almost two tonnes and badly hurt.
The 21-year-old from Carlisle, who has not been named, suffered multiple cuts and fractures to his left foot and leg, and has still been unable to return to work a year on from the incident.
Tweddle Fabrications Ltd, which trades as Tweddle Engineering, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the partially-constructed trailer chassis had swung out of control while being lifted by two forklift trucks.
Carlisle Magistrates Court heard that workers had been trying to lift and rotate the frame at the factory in Kirkbride, Cumbria on February 27th last year. Another member-of-staff, not involved in the lift, was walking across the factory floor when the 1.8 tonne chassis moved in an uncontrolled way and struck him.
The court was told that the company had failed to plan the work properly, despite it requiring a complicated lift using two forklift trucks. There should also have been someone responsible for supervising the process, and measures should have been in place to ensure that other workers were kept at a safe distance away.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Steven Boyd said: “The worker still has difficulty walking almost a year after the incident but it could easily have been avoided. He wasn’t involved in the work to rotate the trailer chassis but had no way of knowing his life was being put at risk as he walked across the factory floor.
“This case should act as a warning to manufacturers that they risk the safety of their employees if they ignore the law, and could find themselves in court as a result.”