A serious personal injury at work occurred at a Cheshire based motor components firm when an overhead crane failed, sending debris falling nearly five metres to the floor below.
Winsford native Andrew Burrell was working the overnight shift with two of his colleagues at Mitras Automotive in Cheshire at the time of the incident.
The forty three year old’s personal injury solicitor described the extent of Mr Burrell’s injuries and how they occurred, stating that he and his two colleagues were in the midst of manoeuvring a thirty one tonne load when the supporting chains of the crane failed.
The entire load, plus a portion of the mechanism of the crane which had been pulled from its moorings, fell to the ground. Mr Burrell was caught in the rain of debris, and according to his personal injury claim he was struck on the leg, completely shattering his left thigh bone. While his two workmates emerged relatively unscathed, Mr Burrell required surgery to reconstruct the limb and now has a metal rod permanently implanted in his leg.
The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident, discovering the maximum lifting capacity of the chains being used with the crane were greatly exceeded. The chains were unsafe to be used on any loads in excess of seventeen tonnes, according to HSE investigators. Additionally it was found that the crane itself was not capable of lifting any more than twenty seven tonnes as well.
After being found to have failed to ensure the safety of its workers, Mitras Automotive was assessed a fine of £20,000. The firm was also ordered to pay £8,792 in court costs.
According to government statistics more than 4,000 manufacturing workers sustain serious injuries in the UK on a yearly basis.