On 13th March 2018, a group of employees were working on site at Haguelands Farm. They had been tasked with moving six-metre long concrete beams from the farmyard into the farmhouse. This was to help prepare for an upcoming extension, which had recently begun construction.
The beams in questions weighed more than 300kg and needed to be lifted with assistance of a mechanical tele-handler. Whilst the worker was on the trailer, attaching the lifting chains to the concrete beam, he slipped and fell from the edge. The unstable nature that previous beams had been removed from the trailer, caused a remaining beam to topple from the trailer, landing on the worker, crushing him and killed him.
A consequential HSE investigation found that the workers had been given minimal notice for moving the beams, no plan had been given by management, the workers had been left to create a plan of action themselves, plus creating an unsafe system of work. HSE also found that none of the workers were trained in lifting and slinging operations, nor had a sufficient risk assessment been taken for the activity.
A.A. Clifton Limited of Haguelands Farm, Burmarsh, Kent pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £30,000, with full costs of £5,446.50.
Following the investigation, HSE investigator Stephen Green advised this incident was wholly avoidable had the company managed to 'identify the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working'