Concrete company fined after worker’s head injuries

A concrete company has been fined after a worker had suffered head injuries.

The magistrates court heard how an employee of the company had suffered head injuries when preparing to clean a concrete mixer.

This involved operators lying in the mixer to clean the discharge chute door, which discharges the mixed concrete into “hoppers” below. The lid was winched open and a steel prop inserted into the lid to “prop” it open.

As the lid was being winched, the wire rope snapped and the lid fell onto the workers head, crushing it between the lid and the mixer. The worker sustained a broken jaw requiring four screws put into his mouth to keep his jaw in place.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 23 December 2014, found that the winch and wire rope had not been inspected or maintained, and there was inadequate risk assessment.

The HSE inspector said: “the incident was entirely preventable, had the company assessed the risks involved with the task and maintained the wire rope. Furthermore, following the incident an alternative method of cleaning the mixer, which didn’t involve employees getting into it was adopted.”

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £270,000 and ordered to pay costs of £24,248.10.

Source: HSE