A Staffordshire-based company has been fined £25,000 after an employee was crushed by a telescopic handler.
JC Bamford Excavators Ltd, based in Denstone Road, Rocester, was ordered to pay costs of £1,390 after it admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The incident happened on June 13, 2013 at the firm’s premises while 56-year-old Roger Pearce was fitting an offside light and mirror arm to the vehicle.
Worker broke 10 ribs
Mr Pearce, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, had crouched down to carry out the installation – which meant that a colleague who tested the telescopic handler’s steering could not see him.
The worker ended up being crushed between the vehicle’s bodywork and a wheel, suffering 10 broken ribs, injuries to his bladder and kidneys and damage to bones.
Mr Pearce was taken to hospital, where he remained for 10 days and continues to receive treatment as an outpatient. He has not yet been able to return to his job.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and brought the prosecution against JC Bamford Excavators at Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court.
Accident ‘could have been prevented’
The HSE probe found that the firm’s assembly track for telescopic handlers included a designated area where the machine’s steering and other elements were operated to force hydraulic fluids through the system.
However, the order of assembly had recently been changed, which meant that Mr Pearce fitted the offside light and mirror arm in an area where steering functions were tested and hydraulics were live, rather than in the usual area where the hydraulics were not being used.
HSE inspector, David Brassington said after the hearing that the incident could have been prevented entirely.
He said the firm had introduced “a serious hazard” and had not assessed the risks involved, which led to Mr Pearce suffering serious injuries.
Making a personal injury claim
If you have been involved in an accident which resulted in a crush injury, you may be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
To find out more, contact our trained advisers at Accident Advice Helpline, who will be able to discuss your particular situation in detail and give you a good idea of whether or not your claim is likely to be successful. Call now on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no obligation legal advice about making an injury claim.