Big pay out over worker’s leg injury

A waste company from Devon has been hit with a heavy fine after a man was seriously injured by a reversing telehandler.

Leases Limited admitted safety failings at Exeter Magistrates’ Court for its part in the incident which left Marvon Van Rijk with life-threatening leg injuries.

He required immediate emergency surgery and ongoing surgical treatment following the collision at the company’s recycling centre at Matford Business Park on 4 October 2012.

Safety compromised

The court heard how Mr Van Rijk and four other pedestrian workers were sorting through waste at the site when he was hit by the reversing vehicle.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Leases Limited hired the telehandler in September 2012, but did not have it fitted with a reversing camera. This failure to ensure that the driver’s direct field of vision was adequate seriously compromised the safety of those on the ground.

Leases Limited of 14 Oak Tree Place, Manaton Close, Matford Business Park, Exeter, was fined 33,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £13,389 after pleading guilty to beaching Regulation 28(e) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

It emerged that the company was also prosecuted following an almost identical incident at the same site in October 2011.

Regrettable incident

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Jones described it as a regrettable incident.

“The dangers of blind spots on reversing vehicles are well known within the waste and recycling industries,” he said.

“The easiest way to eliminate such blind spots is to install reversing CCTV which is easy and inexpensive to fit. It is regrettable that Leases Limited did not learn the lessons from an almost identical incident and subsequent prosecution by HSE at the same site just 20 months ago.”

Leg injury claims

We rely on our legs every day, so even a minor leg injury can leave us unable to perform basic tasks for extended periods. It is therefore important that people who have been injured in such a way receive the compensation they deserve.

Accident Advice Helpline can help when it comes to leg injuries, giving you all the information you need to make a successful claim. To discuss your claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.

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