Engineering firm fined £40,000 after worker suffered major head injuries

editorial image

An engineering firm has been ordered to pay out more than £40,000 as safety chiefs claimed a man was lucky not to be killed in an accident.

Cleckheaton’s HE Realisations Ltd, which is now in liquidation and formerly known as Hogg Engineering Ltd, was sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered life-changing injuries.

Gateshead Magistrates’ Court heard that in February 2015, worker Kevin Tait was using equipment to lift an 18-tonne steel roll at the company’s premises at Carlington Court, Factory Road, Blaydon-on-Tyne.

The equipment being used was not suitable for the lifting operation due to the fact that the load being lifted exceeded the equipment’s safe working load.

During the lift, part of one of the shortening clutches sheared causing the load to swing and strike Mr Tait on the head.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told the court the lifting operation had not been suitably planned and the equipment in use was poorly maintained.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Reg 8(1) of the Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

HE Realisations Ltd of Moorland House, Snelisins Road, Cleckheaton was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £2,230 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Catterall commented: “Lifting operations are hazardous and require a competent person to properly plan and supervise them to ensure that suitable and properly maintained equipment is used in the right configuration to avoid exceeding safe working loads.

“Kevin is incredibly lucky that he was not killed in this incident and he has suffered permanent life changing injuries as a result.

“This workplace accident has changed the lives of Kevin and his family irrevocably.”