A Sheffield construction firm has been ordered to pay almost £17,000 after pleading guilty to safety breaches which led to an employee sustaining a serious leg injury.
Sam Ashford needed 12 stitches to his right leg in 2011 after cutting it while using an unguarded angle grinder on a stone block,and was unable to carry out everyday tasks for several months.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard the 27-year-old was using the piece of equipment as part of work with Ecclesall Developments to landscape a domestic property when it kicked back and hit his leg. He has since returned to work in another industry.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to prosecute after an investigation found the angle grinder lacked a guard and the firm had failed to check if the employee was adequately trained to use the tool.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector John Dutton said: “The incident was entirely avoidable had Ecclesall Developments adopted some simple solutions, such as providing suitable cutting equipment and adequate training in safe cutting practices.
“Instead, no consideration was given by the company to how the task was to be carried out and no checks were made on the abilities of their employee in using an angle grinder.
“The injuries suffered by Mr Ashford, whilst serious, could have been much worse. All companies can benefit their businesses and their employees by ensuring they consider how a task should be carried out, providing the correct equipment for the job and making sure workers are trained in their use.”
Ecclesall Developments, of Millhouses Lane, was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £8,985 in costs after admitting a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Accident Advice Helpline was established in 2000 to provide access to justice for victims of non-fault accidents under the no win, no fee* agreement.
Since then it has helped thousands of victims, injured in all types of accidents, claim the compensation to which they are entitled.
Source: The Star
Date Published: February 19, 2014
Author: David Brown