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Serious head injuries for worker hit by falling skip

A skip hire firm has been fined after a worker suffered serious head injuries when he was struck by a falling skip.

The 45-year-old from Cramlington, near Newcastle, has still not returned to work following the incident in December 2010.

Newcastle Magistrates’ Court was told the worker was sorting through waste when it was noted that skips were covered in frost so the contents were likely to be frozen.

A wagon driver moved a skip into a building to be emptied and sorted, but was unable to empty the frozen load. The skip was unloaded from the wagon and left in the building.

Another colleague then used a shovel loader to turn the skip upside down in order to release the frozen waste. However, as he turned the empty skip back to its upright position, the grab of the shovel, which was gripping the edge of the skip, opened and the skip fell, hitting the worker on the head.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the shovel loader did not have suitable equipment fitted to undertake lifting operations and should not have been used to move the skip.

N A Park Ltd, of Brunswick Industrial Estate, Brunswick Village, Newcastle, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Woodhall, said: “Employers are required to ensure that all work equipment is used only for operations and under conditions for which it is suitable.

“Anyone with responsibility for equipment should ensure that they are aware of what it is actually being used for, and when tasks are required to be carried out they should provide the correct equipment for that job.”

If you have suffered as a result of a non-fault injury at work call PM Law solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 2965444.

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