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Nelson lorry driver fined £1,000 after scaffold crane injures worker

Published in News at 15:47, Friday October 12th, 2012. Last updated at 15:49, Friday October 12th, 2012

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The flatbed lorry that overturned at Mountain Ash last year

The flatbed lorry that overturned at Mountain Ash last year

A worker unloading scaffolding from a flatbed lorry was thrown from the vehicle and hit by its load of boards and tubes when it overturned.

Martin Sapec, 54, of Edwardsville, Treharris suffered a broken pelvis and ankle in the incident at Bryntirion, Mountain Ash, on 15 August 2011.

Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Sapec was helping delivery driver Wayne Ford to unload the scaffolding material while standing on the back of the lorry. The vehicle was fitted with a crane operated by Mr Ford, who failed to extend a stabilising outrigger from the vehicle designed to provide balance while the crane is in operation.

Because the crane was used without the extended outrigger, the lorry became unstable and tipped over, throwing Mr Sapec off. As he landed, some of the scaffold boards and tubes from the lorry fell on top of him.

Mr Sapec has been unable to work since the incident because of his injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Wayne Ford was responsible for the lorry, and was at fault for not using the crane and extending outrigger in the correct, safe manner.

Ford, of Shingrig Road, Nelson, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs by magistrates on October 12.

After the hearing HSE Inspector David Kirkpatrick said: “Mr Sapec sustained serious injuries in this incident, and could easily have been crushed and killed by the lorry when it toppled over.

“Operators of vehicle mounted cranes must ensure the safety of people they are working with by using the equipment in the proper manner.

“Had the extending outriggers been use for their intended purpose then the incident could have been avoided. It was wholly preventable on that basis.”

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