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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Health and Safety News

    Worker crushed to death by caravan

    By Jonathan Brown on July 29, 2015

    Worker crushed to death by caravan

    Serious safety failings led to the death of a worker at a holiday park in Northern Ireland, an inquest has heard.

    Thomas Houston, 50, was crushed when a caravan collapsed on him. He was attempting to put a jack in place before changing a wheel when the incident at Silvercove Holiday Park in Kilkeel, County Down, happened in February 2012.

    Environmental health officer Sinead Trainor described the health and safety training provided as inadequate. She also said no risk assessment was carried out and no safe systems of work were put in place.

    Collapsed caravan

    The inquest in Newry was told the static caravan was around a decade old and measured 35ft by 12ft. It was being taken by a tractor to another part of the site for sale when bearings on a wheel malfunctioned and it fell over.

    Site workers placed two bottle jacks under the caravan but one was removed to situate it into a more central position.

    Mr Houston was under the home repositioning the jack when the one remaining jack collapsed. The caravan fell on top of him, breaking his spine and ribs. He was rushed to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, where he died from his injuries.

    Deputy state pathologist Alistair Bentley found the victim died from crushing asphyxia and chest injury.

    ‘Preventable’ death

    Ms Trainor, of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, says the absence of risk assessments and safe systems of work meant the employer did not ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees.

    She found neither jack had safe working limits for weight clearly displayed on them.

    The jury found the death, caused by chest injury, could have been prevented by having proper risk assessment and training in place.

    Ms Trainor told the inquest a combination of bottle and trolley jacks, which are on wheels and operated with long levers to avoid users going under vehicles, could have been used to lift caravans instead.

    Since the accident at work, employees at all the owner’s sites have been given training, while risk assessments have been put in place at Silvercove and the 11 sites within Newry and Mourne District Council have been checked.

    Source: Belfast Telegraph

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