A demolition firm from Liverpool has been fined £150,000 and its company director has been handed a suspended jail term after a worker’s arm was crushed while using inappropriate equipment.
David Whitfield, 64, had to have his left arm and right hand amputated after being trapped between two 10-tonne steel girders.
The workplace incident occurred on October 19, 2015 in the yard of S. Evans and Sons Limited.
The company and its managing director have pleaded guilty to safety breaches at Liverpool Crown Court.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) determined that managing director of the firm, Samuel Evans, had been using machinery to stack the girders when one dropped, crushing Mr Whitfield’s arms.
Outcomes from the investigation found that the firm had failed to properly control the work being carried out, such as failing to ensure the correct equipment was available for the task.
Mr Whitfield was rushed to the high dependency unit at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester to be treated for his life-changing injuries.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Rohan Lye said: “If the company and its director had taken basic steps to decide how to do this routine task, and what control measures to use, they could have prevented this devastating incident, resulting in an employee suffering life-changing injuries.”
The judge found the managing director personally responsible for the incident, as he failed to choose appropriate equipment and carry out the work in a safe, controlled manner.
Samuel Evans was sentenced to a 10-month prison term, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service
His company, S. Evans and Sons Limited, of Ditton Road, Widnes, also pleaded guilty at court, admitting to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The judge has fined the firm £150,000 plus costs of £9,523.04
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: November 14, 2017
Author: Jackie Kingsley