In recent court proceedings, a farming company has been fined after an employee was crushed by a concrete beam. On 13th March 2018, the man was moving 6-metre long beams, each weighing 300kg, from the farmyard to the farmhouse. Whilst on a trailer unloading the beams, the employee fell from the edge of the trailer.
The man, who will remain unnamed, suffered fatal injuries when one of the beams which had been stacked in an unstable manner also fell from the trailer. The employee attempted to catch the beam, however it landed on his upper body and crushed him to death.
What should have prevented it
The HSE found that the task was carried out at short notice and employees were left to carry out the work with no prior planning or safe system of work. In addition, none of the employees were trained in lifting and slinging operations. A Competent Person with the correct training should have planned the operation and acted to identify and manage the risks involved. The employer has a responsibility to ensure safe methods of working and provide the necessary instruction and training to staff.
A.A. Clifton Limited of Haguelands Farm, Burmarsh, Kent pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were subsequently fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5446.50.
Could CRAMS help?
CRAMS makes completing a risk assessment simple. When a new task is identified, you assess against all relevant risks and hazards and create a method statement to outline the safe system of work. These documents are then signed off by a competent person before being distributed via email to the relevant staff who must acknowledge and complete necessary training before being able to complete the work. Please note, a risk assessment should always be completed by an appropriately trained person.