Derbyshire company fined after worker suffers life-changing injury

A welding and fabrication company in Derbyshire has been fined after an employee’s foot was crushed by a falling metal grid.

Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 15th December 2016, Nicholas Jenkin, an employee of Swadlincote Aluminium and Welding Co Ltd, had been instructed to paint several metal truck wash grids when one of the metal grids, weighing a tonne, slipped through the forks of a forklift and landed on his foot, crushing it. The employee suffered a broken foot, had to have three toes amputated, and is still undergoing hospital treatment.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to properly plan the task or ensure the forklift driver had received adequate training to fully operate the vehicle. The company also failed to ensure a safe system of work was in place, such as the use of a sling on the forklift truck, which would have stopped the metal grid from slipping through the forks.

Swadlincote Aluminium and Welding Co Ltd, of Unit 3 Suttons Business Park, Swadlincote, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £4,400 and ordered to pay costs of £860.40

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector David Keane said: “This injury could have easily been prevented had thorough planning been carried out. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from injury while operating fork lift trucks.”