A company director in the UK has been jailed for 12 months following the death of one of his employees resulting from the overturn of a spider lift during loading. See Fatal lift incident
Paul Williamson, 51, died on January 29th 2014 when the 18 metre spider lift he was loading in a street in Stockport, near Manchester, England, overturned on him as he walked alongside with the remote controller. He was employed by Thorn Warehousing Ltd, and director Kenneth Thelwall has now been sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence, ordered to pay costs of £4,000 and was disqualified from being a company director for seven years.
The investigation discovered that Williamson had not been adequately trained on the use of the ramps, the truck or the spider lift. There was no risk assessment in place and no safe system of work had been created for the equipment, which had only been in operation for eight days.
The father of three was driving the machine a narrow aisle Platform Basket 1800, up the ramps of the 3.5 tonne truck, when it came off and landed on him. The gradient of the ramps were greater than the manufacturer’s specification and were not secured properly to the truck.
Thorn Warehousing was fined £166,000 and ordered to pay £10,400 costs, but has since gone into administration.
HSE inspector, Helen Jones said: “Kenneth Thewall failed in his duty as a director to protect his workers. He was involved in the day to day running of Thorn Warehousing and should have ensured the company provided Paul Williamson with the right equipment and training to carry out his job. Had he done so Mr Williamson would still be alive today.”
“This case should act as a stark warning to all company directors of their personal responsibility to protect their workers’ health and safety and the tragic consequences when they fail.”