A STEEL firm has been fined £130,000 after cages weighing more than two grand pianos crushed the leg of an employee.

It was the second time in less than a year a worker at Lemon Groundwork Solutions Limited was seriously injured with the firm having been warned about its lack of safety measures previously.

The employee was using a gantry crane to lift a steel cage from a stack at the company’s site in Wickford when two cages at the bottom rolled onto his left foot and leg.

The worker suffered fractured tibia and fibula bones.

He had to undergo reconstructive surgery where metal rods, plates and pins were inserted into his leg.

In a probe by the Health and Safety Executive, inspectors found prior to the incident, the company, of Russell Gardens, Wickford, had failed to implement a safe system of work for storing cages and had not provided their employees with sufficient training.

The incident happened in November 2017.

The firm, which admitted breaching health and safety at work regulations, was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,589.99 at Chelmsford Crown Court on January 10.

HSE inspector Eleanor Kinman said: “This incident could easily have been prevented if the company had adopted safe control measures and adequately supervised the task.”

The firm had already been served Improvement Notices by HSE regarding its lifting operations and the management of vehicles and pedestrians in its yard.

The same company was fined £100,000 in November 2018 for breaching health and safety at work regulations after an employee was struck by a bundle of steel bars which fell off a forklift, causing multiple fractures to his leg in 2016.

A spokesman for Lemon Groundwork Solutions Ltd said: “The company was devastated by the injuries sustained by the employee in the accident on November 22, 2017 and supported his rehabilitation back to full duties.

"The company takes the safety and welfare of employees very seriously and acted promptly following the accident to implement a new method for storage of the cages.

"The management of the company is fully committed to continual improvement of health and safety procedures and following a full review of existing arrangements has made significant investment in that area.”