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Company fined £130k after agency worker loses foot in workplace accident

The Health and Safety Executive have investigated a metal company after an agency worker was injured when a trolley carrying 900kg of stainless steel bars fell and crushed his leg and foot.

The incident concerned a 24 year old man who worked as an agency worker for the company and he was manually moving a trolley, with another staff member, containing 18 steel bars weighing 900kilos.

The trolley tipped over and a number of the stainless steel bars fell and crushed the man’s leg causing severe leg injuries including a broken leg and crushed foot.  He was taken to hospital but the crushing injuries were too extensive and he had to have his foot amputated and now wears a prosthetic.  He will need extensive time to recover and adapt to his injuries and also receive physio help on how to use his prosthetic.

The Magistrates’ Court heard that during the HSE’s investigation, they found that the trolleys were not supposed to be used to transport metal stock around the site but that the employees had chosen to do so.  There was no maintenance recorded of the trolley and it also had faulty wheels which may have contributed to the accident.  The trolley was only fit to carry a maximum weight of 500kg and, at the time of the accident, there was no written risk assessment on how and when to use the trollies in terms of types of use, maximum weight and maintenance of faulty trollies.

The company was fined £130k and ordered to pay costs of nearly £2.5k and a victim surcharge of £120.  They pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the HSE Inspector involved in the investigation said: “…… life has been drastically altered by what happened and this incident could have been very easily avoided with some very simple measures. The right equipment and a correct maintenance system would have prevented this from happening.”

Employers have a duty to comply with Health and Safety laws and regulations and provide their employees with a safe, accident free environment and if they don’t fulfill this then they are breaking the law, as well as putting you at risk. If you have an accident at work as a result then you have a right to file an injury at work claim against them.

We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your personal injury claim.

To speak to one of our specialist team call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1979 345, or complete our simple enquiry form and we can call you back at a time to suit you.