Midlands firm fined £15,000 after HSE prosecution

A steel manufacturing company has been fined after a tank weighing three tonnes fell on an employee at one of its sites.

Wefco of Gainsborough was fined £15,000 following a HSE prosecution for failing to ensure the safety of 29-year-old employee Edward Baxter.

Baxter sustained multiple fractures to his pelvis, spine and ribs, a fractured leg and ankle and head injuries as a result of the incident on 4 March 2008.

A process tank was being lifted with an overhead crane, chains and a temporary lifting bracket welded onto the tank. The lifting bracket came off the tank, which then fell onto Baxter.

Wefco pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £5,000 at Lincoln Crown Court today.

HSE Inspector, Steve Woods, said: “This was an incident that resulted in very serious injuries to a young man which could have been even worse. His injuries could have been avoided had a safe system of work been followed.

“Employers need to ensure that difficult lifting operations are planned beforehand and that correct lifting equipment is being used.