Firm fined after construction worker crushed at Stratford hotel

An engineering firm was fined £12,000 yesterday after a man suffered life-threatening injuries from being crushed by a 1.3 tonne tank while building a new hotel.

The 25-year-old man, who does not wish to be named, punctured both lungs, broke 17 ribs, and sustained major internal trauma while working at a hotel under construction on Park Lane in Stratford.

The worker, from Gravesend in Kent, was employed by engineering firm Rollmark Engineering Ltd, trading as MRI London, who was contracted to move large items into a lower ground plant room.

He was one of five MRI employees trying to move a metal tank weighing 1.3 tonnes using a chain blocks and hoists.

But while it was being manoeuvred, the man fell from the upper level, the tank detached from the load hook, and fell on top of the worker, pinning and crushing him against the edge of the ledge.

He was in intensive care for eight days and was off work for more than five months after the incident.

The Heath and Safety Executive brought a prosecution against Rollmark Engineering Ltd, of Gravesend in Kent, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 10 where they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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The court heard an investigation by the HSE found that although the company had prepared a risk assessment and method statement before the work was carried out, it was lacking in detail, the wrong lifting equipment was specified, and it was not site specific.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Eileen Gascoigne said: “This serious incident was entirely preventable and clearly demonstrates the need to ensure that lifting operations are planned and managed with the utmost care, especially when they involve heavy items of kit or machinery.”

Rollmark Engineering Ltd was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £14,860 in costs.