Derby Magistrates’ Court has fined a well-known tool hire company based in Leicestershire £14,000 with £8199.74 costs after breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The firm had provided a dumper truck and excavator to a farmer in Derbyshire in August 2013.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that although the vehicles on hire were checked before they left, a faulty braking mechanism had not been found.
The court was told that a farmer and a self-employed contractor were using the vehicles on top of a slope. When half full, the contractor noticed that the dumper truck had begun to slide downhill.
In attempting to stop the vehicle, the worker leapt into the cabin and applied the footbrake. In doing so he accidentally hit the excavator shovel trapping his leg against the driver’s seat.
The worker sustained significant leg injuries including a broken leg, cut shin and a blood clot. These injuries required a five month period of convalescence
After the case was heard, Edward Walker of the HSE stated:
“This was a serious incident where someone was badly hurt. The faults with the parking brake should have been identified before it was sent out to a customer. Had this been done and the brake cable replaced, the incident would have been prevented.”
“Effective maintenance is important to ensure that equipment works reliably and can prevent additional dangers, particular with heavy plant vehicles such as in this case.”
An approved code of practice and guidance aimed at those with responsibility for work equipment can be downloaded free from the HSE website athttp://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l22.htm