Staffordshire Magistrates Court has fined a well-known digger giant for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) (b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The Court fined £25,000 and ordered the company to pay £1,390 in costs.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into how an employee was crushed by a telescopic handler, revealed that the worker was installing a light and mirror arm to the machinery and whilst doing so had to bend down out of visibility. A colleague, who at the same time was testing the steering of the telescopic handler, did not see the worker and consequently he was crushed between the wheel and body of the vehicle.
The employee sustained multiple crush injuries including ten broken ribs, damaged spine, kidney and bladder. He has not been able to return to work since the incident in June 2013.
The HSE told the court that there had been a change in the assembly sequence. This change resulted in the employees performing his tasks when the hydraulics were operational.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector David Brassington said:
“[The Company] had allowed the introduction of a serious hazard and failed to assess the risk from this change. The controls that were in place were inadequate and [the worker] suffered serious harm as a result.”
“The risks associated with the manufacturing processes involving large pieces of powered equipment should be assessed to ensure that there are effective controls and safe work procedures to protect those involved in this work.”