Two manufacturing firms have been ordered to pay nearly £50,000 in costs and fines after a Tameside factory worker was forced to have part of his left leg amputated.
Vincent Sutton, 49, from Mossley, was delivering an 850kg metal frame (pictured above) for his employer, Russell Fabrications (UK) Ltd, to Delpro Ltd, on the Brookfield Industrial Estate in Glossop, Derbyshire, on January 5 2012.
Derby Crown Court heard that as the skid was being lifted off the truck, the chains came out of their hooks and it fell from a height of around two metres onto his foot. As a result, Mr Sutton’s left leg was amputated to just above his knee.
The Court hearing was told that neither Russell fabrications (UK) or Delpro Ltd had worked out how they were going to safely lift the metal frame onto and off the pickup truck.
Speaking after the verdict, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector, Scott Wynne, said: “The failings of both companies contributed to this incident, which could so easily have been avoided had more thought gone into the planning of the loading, unloading and transport of the metal frame.
“The methods adopted for both the loading at Russell Fabrications (UK) Ltd and the unloading at Delpro Ltd, were inherently unsafe, and the vehicle used to transport the frame was unsuitable, as the loading area was too small to safely accommodate it.
“Unfortunately the failings of the two companies have led to a worker suffering life changing and permanently disabling injuries.”
Delpro Ltd pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, by failing to ensure the work was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out safely.
They were fined £12,000 and ordered to pay nearly £9,000 towards the cost of the prosecution, which took place on February 27 2015.
Russell Fabrications (UK) Ltd, of Wood Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, was fined over £11,000 with costs of nearly £14,000, after being found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, following a trial.
Information on improving safety in the manufacturing industry is available at www.hse.gov.uk/manufacturing.