Firm fined after workers injured

A PLASTERING contractor has been fined after two workers were seriously injured during the construction of Derby’s Westfield shopping centre.

The 39-year-old from Woodhouse, who does not want to be named, was one of two men who fell around seven metres when the scissor lift they were using to transport plasterboards between floor levels overturned. He fractured his skull, eye socket, elbow and thumb, and also sustained heavy bruising.

His 22-year-old colleague, from Dronfield, suffered a fractured pelvis and cheekbone, broken nose and heavy bruising in the incident on 18 August 2007.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the men were using the wrong type of equipment to transport the plasterboards.

Clark & Fenn Skanska Ltd, of Ricksmansworth, Hertfordshire, admitted failing to ensure the lifting of materials was properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

Derby magistrates fined the company £5,000 and ordered them to pay full costs of £11,348.

After the hearing inspector Kevin Wilson said: “This was a serious incident where the consequences could have been much worse. The platform was only half a metre away from a further drop of nearly six metres.

“The incident could have been prevented with appropriate planning and selection of equipment suitable for the task.

“Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP), known as scissor lifts, are not designed for use as material hoists. They are designed as a working platform for positioning operatives and their tools. In this case, the platform was heavily overloaded.’’