Oldham manufacturer fined as worker was crushed under pipes
A manufacturing company based in Oldham has been fined following the death of an employee in a crushing incident.
Frank Dunne, 53, had been working alone using a side loading fork lift truck in April 2015. The truck was already loaded with a vacuum-packed bundle of pipes. The worker was trying to add a second load onto the fork lift truck, weighing around 1.5 tonnes, when it collapsed onto him, crushing him beneath the weight. Dunne was discovered over one hour later by colleagues, who had found the side loader still in operation. The worker was already dead when he was found.
As Dunne had been working alone, there were no eyewitnesses to the incident. A full investigation had been conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which discovered that the company had failed to produce a system for the safe removal and loading of pipework. A risk assessment had not been produced, even though the system used to pack bundles had been altered. The previous system used a wooden framework, which was a more stable method. If that system had still been in place, Dunne would not have been crushed to death, found the HSE.
Following a guilty plea, R Tindall (Fabricators) Ltd was fined £70,000 and forced to pay costs of £5,000. According to Mike Lisle, if a system had been produced for the new method of working, along with a risk assessment, Dunne may still have been alive. Employers are responsible for the safety of workers, which may involve the use of specialist workwear or PPE.