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Bolton firm fined for beam injury

A Bolton recycling firm has been fined after an employee was badly injured when struck by a heavy steel beam.

The 100kg beam – which was 6m long - struck the 52-year-old worker as he stood next to a forklift truck in the yard at J Doyle Ltd on Gaskell Street, and fell onto his left leg.

This caused a fractured ankle, a deep cut to his shin, and bruising and swelling to his shin, ankle and foot.

The man – who wishes to remain anonymous - was off work for more than three months after the July 2012 incident, and now walks with a limp.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) officials prosecuted after an investigation found the company had failed to make sure the work to lift beams was planned, supervised or carried out safely.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard another worker had been trying to load the steel beam into an empty skip so it could be delivered to a customer. As he did this, it slid from the forks on the forklift truck injuring the delivery driver.

J Doyle was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,500 after pleading guilty to breaching the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

HSE inspector Emily Osborne said: “The injuries suffered by J Doyle’s employee are still affecting him today, more than a year after the incident, and have caused him a considerable amount of pain.

“The firm should never have allowed a long steel beam, weighing over 100kg, to be lifted on a forklift truck in this dangerous way. The work was not planned and the risks ignored.

“The company has now stopped using a forklift to lift steel beams and instead uses a crane on the back of a flatbed truck to deliver steel beams to customers.

“If they had lifted the beam using this equipment at the time of the incident then the employee’s injuries could have been avoided.”

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