Company fined after worker seriously injured by machinery.

An Aberdeen company specialising in making and supplying agricultural machinery, has been fined after a worker was seriously injured by a fork from a fork lift truck at the company’s Chapel Works premises.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court

Aberdeen Sheriff Court

Jose Magano Ojeda, 44, living in Aberdeen, but originally from Spain, was working his first day for Charles J Marshall (Aberdeen) Limited, welding metal runners to the steel sheet bed of a trailer. To help him do this, another employee was using the forks of a fork lift truck to apply downward pressure to the metal runner, to hold it flat and in place for welding.

Whilst Mr Magano Ojedo was welding, the fork lifted up and disengaged from the fork lift truck, striking and severely injuring him in the incident on 31 March 2014.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the fork lift truck was being used for a purpose it was neither designed nor intended for, and that safety measures designed to keep the fork in place were missing.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard today (4 June), that Mr Magano Ojedo sustained serious injuries, including a broken hip which required an operation to fit a metal plate.

Charles J Marshall (Aberdeen) Limited of Bucksburn, Aberdeen was fined a total of £6,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the hearing, HSE principal inspector Niall Miller said:

“It is inherently unsafe to use equipment for purposes other than that it is designed and intended for.

“The failure of the company to find a safe way to apply pressure to metal bars for welding led to ad hoc and unsafe practices, and has in this case resulted in a worker being seriously injured. Mr Magano Ojedo continues to suffer physical discomfort and this incident has fundamentally altered the way he lives his life.”

Section 4(3) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment  Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is used only for operations for which, and under conditions for which, it is suitable.”

In Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has sole responsibility for the raising of criminal proceedings for breaches of health and safety legislation.