Two companies have been fined after a worker at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire suffered a broken foot when a 13kg weight dropped nearly four metres from an overhead crane.
A mechanical fitter, from Scunthorpe, had been operating the 21-ton crane with a colleague and needed it to change direction. Both men were using the steel pole provided to pull down on a chain which operated the steering mechanism.
As they did, the counter-balance weight and chain detached from the crane and came crashing down. At the same time, the 19 year-old worker lost his balance and kicked into his colleague, forcing him out of the way. The weight landed on his right foot fracturing it despite his reinforced safety boots.
Drax Power Ltd. which employs 750 workers at the nearby power station and Konecranes UK Ltd, a permanent on-site contractor responsible for maintaining all the cranes and hoists, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation into the incident on 22 March 2010.
Drax Power Ltd. pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to ensure the crane was in good working order. Konecranes UK Ltd, of West Bromwich, West Midlands, admitted a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Each company was fined £13,300 and ordered to pay costs of £3,151.