TWO firms in the borough have been fined for health and safety breaches after a crane operator was badly hurt falling onto a concrete floor.
The crane operator, who had been working for Technical Cranes, fell after accessing an overhead travelling crane at Yorkshire Stainless Limited, a hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court was told.
The worker had accessed the crane by being lifted up in a wooden crate balanced on the forks of a forklift truck, operated by an employee of Yorkshire Stainless.
As it was lowered, the crate overbalanced, causing the crane engineer to fall around six metres onto a concrete floor.
The worker sustained serious injuries including broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken sternum and multiple fractures of the pelvis.
Following an investigation by Rotherham Council, steel stockholder Yorkshire Stainless Limited, based at Waddington Way, Parkgate, admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and one breach relating to the safety of lifting operations.
Crane manufacturer Technical Cranes, based at Harrison Street, Rotherham, admitted one breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Following the incident, in October 2016, the council served a prohibition notice on Yorkshire Stainless to stop anyone from being lifted using inappropriate working platforms and without adequate precautions in place to prevent anyone from falling.
Both firms were fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £6,930 costs at a hearing held at the magistrates’ court on September 9.
The council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, councillor Dominic Beck, said: “This incident could easily have resulted in a fatality and shows the importance of companies ensuring that they risk assess and appropriately plan high-risk activities, such as work at height, and supervise and monitor such work to ensure that it is undertaken safely.
“The fine handed down to these companies should serve as a warning to others and I’d like to place on record my thanks to those that have been instrumental in bringing this investigation to the courts.”
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Stainless Limited said: "We as a company deeply regret the incident.
"We responded immediately to the requirements set out for us by the authorities and put in place the controls necessary.
"A change of ownership in December 2019 has allowed a continued high focus on health and safety and we now have access to and are supported by wider experience and resources."
Technical Cranes declined to comment on the prosecution.