Fines issued after man injured in crane incident

A court has heard how a man suffered severe injuries after being hit by timber roof trusses being unloaded by a mobile crane positioned on a trailer.

In a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court was told that in June 2009, Neil Anson, a plasterer from Wolverhampton, stepped off the trailer at a construction site in Bilston, when a dozen - several packs - of the trusses, weighing a total of 400kg, fell onto him, pinning him to the floor.

Another, larger, heavier pack also fell towards him but missed, hitting a road sign on the way.

Anson suffered severe fractures to his right leg, elbow, hand and thumb.

Kent Road Construction, of Brierley Hill, admitted breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

The company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,496 in costs.

Shiv Sharma, trading as Fortmere Construction, also of Brierley Hill, admitted breaching Regulation 14(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulation 2007.

Sharma was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £899 costs.

Martin Overstall, HSE inspector, says companies that manage construction sites and direct cranes fixed on truck trailers must make sure all operators are properly trained and competent to do so.

He adds: "Mr Anson received very serious injuries as a result of this incident, and had the falling timber hit his head, he would almost certainly have died.

"The law requires companies that hire contractors to make reasonable checks that they are competent to carry out work on a construction site.

"In this case, the contractor failed to plan, supervise and carry out a safe lifting operation.

"The client company had not appointed a co-ordinator, one of whose roles would have been to advise the client on the competence of the contractor."

Ryder offers CV maintenance to all

Rental giant Ryder says it is investing £1.8m into its depots, main-tenance workshops and accounting centres as it launches its pay-as-you-go maintenance package to the commercial vehicle market.

Previously, maintenance was only carried out on Ryder's own fleet and its customers' vehicles.

David Hunt, VP and MD of Fleet Management Solutions, Ryder Europe, says the investment is two-fold. "First, it is to improve the reception areas for our customers at our rental and maintenance depots to make them more suitable for the additional customers resulting from the launch of our retail maintenance service.

"Second, following a comprehensive audit of our sites, a number of environmental improvements have been implemented. These measures demonstrate Ryder's commitment to the market and our determination to be the leading provider of HGV vehicles and related services in the UK."