A scrap metal firm has been fined after an employee was badly injured when a bus swung into him while it was being lifted onto a truck.
Abba Scrap Metals in Merthyr Tydfil was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £8,912 in costs during a hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court.
Workers at the company had been loading a three-and-a-half tonne single decker bus onto a low-loader truck after salvaging parts from it, so that it could be taken to a scrap yard to be crushed.
They had planned to use an excavator to lift the front of the bus and a forklift truck to lift the rear, so that the low-loader could then reverse under it. As they lifted the front of the bus, using two chains attached to the grab on the excavator, it swung outwards and struck 49 year-old Clifford Evans from Caerphilly. He was momentarily pinned against a wall before the bus swung back again, and as a result he suffered fractures to his pelvis and ribs.
HSE inspector Dean Baker said: “Clifford Evans suffered painful fractures to his pelvis and ribs, but his injuries could easily have been more serious or even fatal.
“The bus could have been lifted by simply using the grab on the excavator, but the company overcomplicated it by using two vehicles and not positioning the chains safely.
“Had the work been properly planned by Abba Scrap Metals, and had workers been given proper training on lifting vehicles, then the incident could have been avoided.”