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Law: HSE warning after load falls causing fatal injury to employee

A recent case, relevant to garages in particular, highlights the danger of lack of control and training when handling dangerously heavy loads.

As an example, it is not unusual to offload engines, gearboxes, vehicles from a truck and if not removed in a professional safe way then the results can be fatal or at least cause serious injury.

In the particular case a company, McDonald and Ross Ltd were contracted by a residential developer to deliver steel beams to a construction site. They sub-contracted the work to Mr Boyd of Ron Boyd Trading.

One of the problems was that the three beams on the lorry were not placed on their side to ensure stability when they were loaded. However, at the site, as the retaining straps were removed one of the beams fell onto the employee fatally injuring him. No one had assessed the risk associated with the loading or unloading process.

In a domestic situation we can drop a cup or pen and it has no consequence, but when dealing with awkward large loads it is vital that the loading / unloading process is totally supervised and the risks assessed.

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