Electrician in coma after car factory accident

car repair shop
An example of vehicle body lifting equipment.

An electrician suffered serious injuries and remained in a coma for almost two weeks after he was dragged into an unguarded lifting machine at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant, a court heard.

The vehicle manufacturer admitted breaching the Health and Safety Act when it appeared at Birmingham magistrates court.

The case has been adjourned with the company due to be sentenced at Birmingham crown court on November 21.

Magistrates were told that 57-year-old Colin Downes was injured by the vehicle-body-lifting equipment in the accident at work during a night shift in June 2013.

Jaguar Land Rover admitted the machinery did not have a safety guard fitted on it which would have stopped Mr Downes being dragged into it.

Because the maintenance electrician’s injuries were so serious, the court heard, doctors put him into a chemically induced coma for 12 days.

‘Worker still feeling effects of accident’

His injuries included blood clots on his heart and kidneys, two punctured lungs and two broken bones in his spine. Mr Downes also broke his sternum, 10 of his ribs and two bones in his right hand.

Simon Belfield, prosecuting, told the court that even after well over a year Mr Downes was still finding it hard to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time.

He said an investigation had found that some workers at the plant did not realise a yellow strip indicated that the area where the accident happened had restricted access and was hazardous.

Mark Balysz, representing Jaguar Land Rover, said the company sincerely regretted the incident. He added that the company maintained it did have a responsible health and safety system in place in the area where the accident happened.

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