The makeshift crane platform

A routine inspection by Health & Safety Executive inspectors in Malvern, Worcestershire, encountered a mobile crane in an unsafe position on the roadside.

Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 15th October 2019, the crane was being operated in an unsuitable position, on a slope. There was no plan for the lifting operation and there was no competent lift supervisor.

The site crew had also installed a temporary platform high up on a scaffolding without any additional edge protection, as required by the regulations, to prevent a fall from height.

The HSE inspectors immediately slapped a prohibition notice (PN) on them for the work at height breach and a notification of contravention and improvement notices (IN) were served in relation to planning for work at height and planning for lifting operations.

JF Wright Ltd of Brecon Close, Droitwich, Worcestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £64,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,926.

The scaffold platform had noo edge protection
The scaffold platform had noo edge protection

HSE inspector Chris Gregory said after the hearing: “Although there were no incidents involved in the investigation, there was the potential for serious injuries or fatalities in two different areas of work being undertaken at the time of the inspection.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure that workers are adequately trained, properly supervised, and work activities are appropriately planned, managed and monitored.”

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