A company in Stockport, which manufactures chains for conveyor belts, escalators and forklift trucks, has been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,696 after an incident at its premises left a 54 year-old worker with a badly mangled hand.
David Taylor, working at Renold Power Transmission Ltd, had been operating an overhead crane to lift equipment weighing nearly 300kg using straps that had already been placed around it. As he moved the crane with a badly-labelled control, the equipment slipped out of the straps and began to fall towards him. Mr Taylor raised his left hand to protect himself but his hand became caught in one of the straps and was pulled into the crane's hook.
Manchester Crown Court heard that no lifting chains were available on the day, despite the fact that the company actually manufactures them.
As a result of the incident, Mr Taylor has lost half his thumb, the tip of his index finger, two thirds of his middle finger and ring finger, and all of the little finger on the left hand. As Mr Taylor explained, the injuries are preventing him from carrying out simple tasks such as getting dressed.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company has not produced a written risk assessment for the work and there was not a safe system of work in place. In addition, even though he had been at the company for nearly three months, Mr Taylor had not received any formal training to use the crane.
HSE inspector Ian Betley said, “One of Renold’s employees has suffered severe injuries to his left hand that will affect him for the rest of his life due to the company’s poor safety system for using the crane. It’s shocking that the chains produced by the company weren’t even available on the day of the incident for use by its own employees. Instead, David had to use an unchoked sling to lift a heavy tool, which led to him being badly injured.
“If the tool had been properly secured before being lifted then his injuries could have been avoided.”
Mr Taylor sent out a plea to the manufacturing industry, “I just hope manufacturers improve their health and safety systems so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else. They need to listen to their employees’ concerns and make sure they provide the correct equipment for the job.”
For more information, see the: