A worker became trapped between a telehandler and a post, suffering severe crush injuries resulting in him needing his spleen and most of his pancreas removed.
The 42-year-old Berkshire man was asked to be a lookout when an HGV reversed
in order to shunt a telehandler which had broken down, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday.
But the lookout was trapped between the telehandler and a steel post in a workshop in West Drayton, suffering life-threatening injuries even though he was released within a few minutes.
Firm fined over injury at work
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the Hampshire-based firm, RVC Engineering Ltd, for safety failings over the incident on September 25 last year.
RVC admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 over the unplanned operation and was fined £6,600 by the court in central London.
The company, of Springpark House, Basing View in Basingstoke, was also ordered to pay costs of £1,087.
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Hospital for four months
The injuries were described after the hearing by the HSE as entirely preventable, because the involvement of the man badly hurt in the operation was not necessary.
Pete Collingwood, an inspector with the HSE, said the firm should have planned the operation carefully and made sure it was supervised adequately, adding that crush injuries are common in industry due to vehicles reversing.
The injured worker was hospitalised for four months and is still unable to go back to work, although he hopes to do so soon.