Firm fined after man hit by tank

A GAINSBOROUGH firm has been fined after a worker was hit and badly injured by a three-tonne steel tank.

Wefco Ltd, a steel manufacturing company, has been fined £15,000 after a process tank fell on an employee working at one of its sites.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Wefco Ltd of Britannia Works, Spring Gardens, Gainsborough, for failing to ensure the safety of employee Edward Baxter.

Mr Baxter, 29, of Hempdyke Road, Scunthorpe, sustained multiple fractures to his pelvis, spine and ribs, a fractured leg and ankle and head injuries as a result of the incident on Tuesday 4th March 2008.

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

Wefco Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday 10th January.

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. An incident like this demonstrates how vital it is that safe working procedures are communicated and understood.

He added: “Supervision is also imperative and managers need to monitor the workplace of employees to ensure that safe working procedures are being followed and corners are not being cut.”