A man who died in a lifting operation accident, and the colleague with whom he worked, had not received the proper training on how to plan and manage the complex lifting operation. This emerged during the investigation of the 13th December 2008 accident at Parker Plant Ltd’s premises in Canon Street, Leicester, prior to its prosecution.

The men had no information on the size, weight or centre of gravity of the load which would have enabled them to sling the load correctly.

Two structures were being lifted into a shipping container by overhead crane, but the parts would not fit and they were placed on the ground next to it. The workmen had been directed to place one steel section on top of the other and were releasing the lifting chains from the load when the top section slid off the bottom one and trapped the 55-year old worker between them, inflicting fatal head injuries from which he died instantly.

HSE found the men had been working with an incorrect diagram showing the structures fitting on top of each other which was not possible. The structures had not been strapped, rendering the load unstable and liable to fall unexpectedly. The investigators deemed the work not properly planned or supervised and the lifting equipment provided was defective.

An HSE official commented: “This fatal incident was utterly preventable and occurred as a direct result of Parker Plant Ltd’s approach to the safety of its workers. This company failed to provide the proper training for the work they were undertaking, and if that work had been adequately planned and supervised this tragedy would not have happened. Because of this company’s failures, one man lost his life and another will have to live with the after effects of witnessing such a horrific incident.”

Parker Plant Ltd admitted breaching S.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £180,000 plus £47,500 costs. 28th October 2011