An agency worker who suffered serious crush injuries was lucky to be alive, a court has heard.
Jamie Barsby, 26, broke a number of vertebrae, fractured his pelvis and sustained blood blisters all over his body when he was thrown from the forks of a forklift truck and crushed between the vehicle and the back of an articulated lorry.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says it is sheer luck the incident, which happened at The Sandwich Factory Holdings Ltd’s premises in Warwickshire in July 2012, did not result in a fatality.
Lack of safety
Mr Barsby was being lifted into the back of the lorry to reorganise pallets of sandwiches when the incident occurred, Leamington Crown Court was told.
The HSE discovered company director Paul Nicholson had failed to ensure safety management systems were in place at the factory on the Carlyon Road Industrial Estate in Atherstone.
Its investigation concludes that the accident at work could have easily been prevented if the obvious risks from transport operations and working at height were controlled using the relevant safety measures.
‘Disaster waiting to happen’
Passing sentence, the judge ruled that The Sandwich Factory Holdings Ltd had prioritised profit over the safety of its employees.
Its safety management system, meanwhile, was described as a disaster waiting to happen.
The Hull-based company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined a total of £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £57,790.
Mr Nicholson, aged 55, of Balnain, Drumndrochit, Inverness, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 37(1) of the same Act. He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £50,513.
HSE said Mr Nicholson failed in his duty of care as director of the food manufacturer.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: August 25, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown