Lifting operation at modular building company was disorganised and could have had much worse consequences, said health and safety inspector

A modular building company has been fined £15,000 after a man’s finger was crushed and had to be amputated in a “disorganised” lifting operation.

Banksman John Hughes was working for Caledonian Building Systems in February 2009 when an 11 tonne modular building unit was dropped on his index finger, resulting in it being amputated.

Hughes was helping a fork lift truck driver lift the load onto the lorry when it became unstable and started to rock. He tried to remove a wooden block from under the module but the 11 tonne load came down on his index finger, also damaging his middle finger.

Stuart Parry, inspector at the Health and Safety Executive, said: “”This was a routine lifting operation for Caledonian Building Systems yet it was poorly assessed and planned and was conducted in a disorganised manner. Although Mr Hughes received a life-changing injury, the consequences could have been even worse.”

A magistrates court in Nottingham fined the firm £15,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £7,328 for breaching both the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.