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Firm fined after man's legs crushed

McGrath Bros (Waste Control) has been fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £7,447 in costs after a man’s legs were crushed during a botched operation to unload building rubble.

The victim, who worked as a driver for McGrath Bros, spent six months in hospital after the incident, which took place on 10 January 2008. He suffered nine fractures in his legs and could not work for 14 months.

The firm, based on Hepscott Road, Hackney, had been making large steel frames at its Hackney site and transporting them to the Debden Wharf site.

The worker was unloading steel frames from a delivery lorry with two colleagues at a site at Debden Wharf, River Road, in Barking, when the accident took place. The frames were resting on top of building rubble inside the truck and the men attempted to lift one frame using a crane and chains.

While it was being unloaded, one of the chains slipped, causing the hoisted frame to slip and fall back into the truck, crushing the victim’s legs as he became trapped between the two 700kg steel-fabricated frames.

McGrath (Waste Control) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at City of London Magistrates’ Court.

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