A Hull-based vehicle recovery firm has been fined for failing to fulfil its duty of care towards members of staff.
It relates to an incident in June 2012 which left a mechanic with a serious back injury, putting him out of work for three months.
The 22-year-old worker fractured two vertebrae when a seven-tonne lorry fell from a jack and trapped him underneath at ABR Rescue Ltd’s workshop in Grindell Street.
Failure to control risks
HSE said the LGV should have been supported using axle stands, while the remaining wheels should have been chocked to prevent it from rolling.
ABR Rescue Ltd of Grindell Street, Hull, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,760 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
“Jacks are for lifting, not support, and in these circumstances it was entirely foreseeable that when the engine was started the vehicle would fall,” said HSE Inspector Dr Nicholas Tosney after the hearing.
“Because ABR Rescue had not looked properly at the risks of the job, they had not identified the measures needed to control those risks.
“However, the precautions that should be taken are well known in the industry and if the company had fulfilled its duty of care, then a young worker would have been spared a serious injury.”
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that the firm had badly neglected the safety of its employees. Not only did it fail to provide safe working methods, it also did not address the very real risks of harm associated with working underneath vehicles.
Hull Magistrates heard how the mechanic was fitting a brake chamber to the large goods vehicle (LGV). Its rear nearside wheels had been taken off and the vehicle was being supported by a single hydraulic jack – which itself was standing on a block of wood.
Another employee was working in the lorry’s cab and when he started the engine, the LGV rolled off or fell from the jack, trapping the mechanic underneath.
Back injury claim
It is often necessary to make a back injury claim in order to cope with the loss of earnings and expenses that arise as a result.
Accident Advice Helpline can provide you with all the information you need about seeking compensation, as well as telling you if you will be able to make a successful claim. To discuss your potential claim with a member of Accident Advice Helpline’s expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
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Date Published: January 18, 2014
Author: David Brown