Bus builder fined £50,000 after industrial accident

Samuel Murray suffered deep cuts to his face at the company's building in Falkirk

A COMPANY has been fined £50,000 after a worker was injured while building a bus.

Samuel Murray, 56, suffered deep cuts to his face and several broken teeth after a steel platform, used as part of the bus floor, slipped while being lifted into position.

The accident at Alexander Dennis Ltd, in Falkirk, which happened in September 2009, left Mr Murray needing stitches and emergency dental work, a court heard.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that Mr Murray had requested a forklift truck driver lift and transport a steel floor platform from the goods yard to the welding bays in the chassis shop.

The forklift truck driver placed extensions on to the forks of the truck to move the platform but did not properly secure either the forks or the load.

In the chassis shop, the platform was lowered and Mr Murray placed a sling underneath and around the uneven load for it to be manoeuvred onto the chassis. He then looped the sling around one of the extension forks.

Mr Murray, assisted by two other employees, began manually lining up the platform and chassis while the fork lift driver adjusted the angle the forks were tilted at and lowered them slightly. This motion resulted in one end of the sling coming loose causing one end of the platform to swing up and strike Mr Murray on the chin.


It was later discovered that the company did not formally train its workers to carry out lifting manoeuvrs and left employees to work out their own method of lining up the platform with the bus chassis.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation also found that Alexander Dennis Ltd had not properly assessed the risks in transporting, handling and positioning floor platforms onto bus chassis. HSE inspectors found workers simply relied on the weight of the platform as the only way of securing it to the forklift truck while transporting it.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Matthew Ramsey said: “This incident was entirely foreseeable, and if Alexander Dennis Ltd had taken simple steps to identify the hazards in carrying out this routine lifting task, would never have happened.
“Moving the floor platforms and placing them on to the bus chassis was a regular task. Alexander Dennis Ltd should have ensured that their workers had been trained on a safe way of carrying out this routine operation.”