Company fined for dangerous lifting equipment

17 May 2013

The Health & Safety Executive has fined an Essex construction company for putting workers at risk by neglecting to check and maintain a potentially dangerous piece of lifting equipment.

In April, Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard that a forklift truck belonging to Aveley Construction Ltd was heavily used at the company’s South Ockendon premises for more than 12 months without any kind of thorough examination.

It is a legal requirement to check such equipment at least once a year, yet the truck, used to move heavy steel fabrications, was kept in continuous use for well over a year despite showing obvious signs of disrepair.

Magistrates were told that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out on 23 June 2011 found that when the truck was eventually examined only six items out of 24 that formed the basis of the report were marked "satisfactory". The remaining 18 items were classed as "repair needed".

Defects included worn out tyres, flashing beacons and lamps not working and a loose counter-weight.

The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,238 in costs after admitting single breaches of the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

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