A driver can no longer digest food after suffering a work accident, a court heard this week.
Derek Maitland, 37, sustained serious stomach crush injuries when he became trapped between the lifting hoist and the side of a refuse vehicle.
South Lanarkshire Council was fined £50,000 at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Wednesday, December 19 over the accident in Glen Turret, East Kilbride on January 13, 2011.
Mr Maitland, from Glasgow, needed extensive surgery to repair damaged arteries and had most of his colon and small bowel removed.
He now has to be fed intravenously, but has returned to work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted the council.
It found that the accident happened because of inadequate risk assessment; the lack of a safe system of work, plus a failure to provide adequate information, instruction, supervision and training.
Council fined £50K
Mr Maitland sustained his horrific work injury while driving a glass recycling vehicle. The side lifter got stuck in an upright position. He unplugged the side lifter’s pendant control unit and brought it into the vehicle’s cab to dry out.
Soon afterwards Mr Maitland returned outside to reconnect the pendant control unit. But it seems the vehicle’s engine had been left running.
This meant power was carried to the mechanism. The hoist started up and lowered, snaring him by his torso against the vehicle.
The local authority’s safe system of work said that staff should not try and correct defective equipment, but it did not specifically mention the removal and reconnection of pendant controllers.
The Hamilton-based council pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
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Source: Let’s Recycle