A national plant hire company has been fined for safety failings after two employees were injured in an accident at work.
Both workers were struck and injured by a reversing mini-digger at One Call Hire Ltd’s main site on Crown Road in Enfield on 18 December 2012.
One of them, a 60-year-old man from Barnet, who does not want to be named, broke a bone just below his knee and suffered extensive tissue damage to his foot and ankle in the incident.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation flagged up serious concerns with an unsafe system of work at the company, which has a total of 23 depots across the UK including the head office in Enfield.
Accidents at work
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that the injured workers were part of a team preparing a mini-digger for shipment to Australia.
As the team were giving the machine a final clean it was inadvertently put into reverse and struck an employee. In trying to release him, the vehicle was again reversed, causing him additional injuries and hurting another worker.
A third member of staff who was under the vehicle had a lucky escape, managing to move away just in time.
Accidents at work, particularly those involving heavy machinery, can be devastating. Victims should therefore seek compensation to cover any time off.
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HSE inspectors concluded that there was no agreed system of work for the refurbishment and cleaning activity.
One Call Hire Ltd, of Crown Road, Enfield, pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was subsequently fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,036 in costs.
HSE Inspector Chris Tilley hopes the prosecution will send a clear message to other employers across the country.
“It is clear that there was no safe system of work in place for work in and around the digger, either of a formal or informal nature,” he said.
“Had the work been properly assessed, and measures taken to isolate power to the engine and make it safe, then the two workers could have avoided injury.”
Source: The Construction Index
Date Published: February 14, 2014
Author: David Brown