Fatal crushing incident on site was a ‘preventable accident’

  • Health & Safety
Construction workers on-site
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

A granite supplier and its company director in the West Midlands have been sentenced, after a fatal incident on site

Robert Czachracz, 46, was operating an overhead crane by pendant control, to unpack and move slabs onto storage racks. As he was doing so, two 250kg granite slabs fell and crushed him against a forklift truck. Despite efforts from bystanders and emergency services, he died at the scene.

Investigations afterward by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uncovered a number of failures in safety management. Graniteland Limited and its director, Mr Shu Lai Li, had not implemented staff training or developed safe systems of work for unloading, loading and handling concrete slabs.

HSE found no evidence that staff were trained to safely operate machinery, including the overhead crane. There were no thorough examinations for the crane or forklift truck, and the webbing slings that supported the slabs were damaged.

Graniteland Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £4,196.03 in costs at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on 6 March 2024.

Mr Shu Lai Li, of Lyde Green, Halesowen, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £4,043.42 in costs at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on 6 March 2024.

HSE inspector Mahesh Mahey spoke following the sentencing:

“This was an entirely preventable accident. The risks of lifting and moving granite slabs were obvious, yet could have been controlled by relatively simple and inexpensive measures. The company and director failed to adequately control lifting operations which resulted in an employee needlessly and tragically losing his life.”

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Can you use a cage on a forklift truck?

Related articles

  • workplace injury


    Council fined after school technician’s severed finger incident

    A local authority responsible for a school has been sentenced following an incident where a technician’s finger was severed by a circular saw.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Health & Safety
  • People working in construction


    HSE annual fatality stats show rises in Construction and falls from height

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its annual statistics on work-related fatal injuries, which show 138 workers killed in 2023/4 because of work-related accidents. This represents a rise from 2022/3, which saw 136 fatal injuries to workers. On average, the number has varied between 130-150 in the last decade.

    Peninsula Team Peninsula Team
    • Health & Safety
  • Health and safety industry


    Health and safety industry reacts to Labour win

    Back in government after 14 years in opposition, Labour has a massive majority to put their legislative agenda into action. They face a number of challenges, and health and safety law is by no means the least of these. The country faces a mental health crisis with shortages of medical support and community services struggling to meet demand.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Health & Safety
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and health & safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.