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This article was published on June 30th, 2017
An individual contractor and an engineering company have both been found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations after a woman was hit by fencing wire causing her to need surgery to remove metal from her neck.
The HSE investigated an incident whereby a woman, who was in her garden at the time of the incident, was sprayed with metal fencing after a mechanical flail got tangled up with wire fencing. When the contractor using the flail, raised the machinery to see what the issue was, pieces of metal wire were sprayed at speed into the women’s garden and they hit her in the leg and the neck causing wounds.
A magistrates court agreed with the HSE that both the contractor and subcontractor who was using the machinery had failed to plan the work to ensure all risks, obstructions etc. had been identified and all dangers had been removed.
The engineering company was fined £130k and ordered to pay legal costs of £22k after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The sub-contractor was also sentenced to 120 hours community service and ordered to pay £3.6k legal costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
An HSE commented after the hearing: “Members of the public have a right to expect to be able to enjoy their garden without any risk of being hit by flying debris from neighbouring work activity.”
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