Two companies fined after worker falls 35ft

Expert Tooling and Automation (credit: Google)

Two companies have been fined after an electrician fell 35ft headfirst when a crane knocked him out of his lift cage.

The worker was repairing light fittings at Expert Tooling and Automation in Coventry, when the crane, operated by another worker nearby, collided with the scissor lift cage, causing the 52-year-old electrician from Sheffield to fall onto the factory floor, sustaining a fractured skull and multiple other injuries

On 21 September 2022, an overhead crane operator failed to notice the electrician in the lift, causing the lift to twist, collide with nearby racking, and crash to the floor.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the other employee from Nottingham-based Optilight Electrical Services also narrowly avoided being crushed by the falling lift.

The injured electrician suffered a fractured skull, two brain bleeds, a broken collarbone, eight broken ribs, a broken elbow and wrist, and a punctured lung and was placed in an induced coma and underwent several operations.

Optilight Electrical Services was found guilty of not identifying the operation of overhead cranes as a risk to its employees working at height at Expert Tooling and Automation’s site.

Expert Tooling and Automation did not have procedures to prevent the use of overhead cranes during the work and relied on contractors to identify risks and implement safety measures.

The lack of communication between the two companies about the impact of their work on safety was also highlighted by the HSE.

Optilight Electrical Services and Expert Tooling and Automation admitted to breaches of health and safety laws and were fined £7,000 and £50,000.

Expert Tooling and Automation pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, while Optilight Electrical Services admitted to breaching Section 2.

Both firms were also ordered to pay £1,985 in costs at the hearing on April, 29.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...