A workman received serious internal crush injuries when the clamp of a lorry loader closed around his waist.

On 18th November 2010, the lorry loader operator, employed by Saint Gobain Building Distribution Ltd (trading as Jewson Builders Merchant), attempted to use his brick clamp on a lorry crane to lift the victim, a self-employed general builder, off the roof of a cabin while he was collecting building materials from a construction site on High Street, Rode.

During the process of preparing to lift a pallet of materials, the worker took up position between the arms of the clamp so that he could be lifted down, but the operator used the wrong switch, inadvertently operating the clamping button.

The operator pleaded guilty to breaching S.7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £1,500 with £1,000 costs.

An HSE inspector commented: “Even if the clamp had not been activated, attempting to lift the worker down from the cabin roof with a brick clamp was in no way safe. Two people’s lives have been seriously affected in this incident: the worker is still suffering from health problems related to his internal injuries and does not yet know when he will be able to return to work. The lorry loader operator has lost his job after this action which went against all his training and years of experience.”