A Birmingham demolitions company has been fined and ordered to pay costs after a worker at its plant in Warwickshire suffered an injury at work.
A Birmingham-based demolitions firm has been fined and ordered to pay costs by Solihull Magistrates’ Court after it was found that the business had breached key health and safety regulations, leading to a serious injury to one of its workers.
The unnamed worker, 33, was working at Coleman and Company’s plant in Meriden, Warwickshire, when the accident happened on 8 November 2012. He was operating a machine at the plant when his right arm was drawn in between the rollers and conveyer belt of an unguarded crushing machine. His fellow workers rushed to turn the machine off but by that time he had suffered fractures to his right arm, wrist injuries and bruising. He required several skin grafts in hospital to treat his injuries and is yet to return to work.
It is not currently know whether the anonymous worker will wish to claim personal injury against Coleman and Company
The case came before the Solihull Magistrates’ Court on 30 May 2013. The Magistrates’ Court heard evidence that the machine had been unguarded and that the incident could have been prevented if Coleman and Company had noticed that the machine had had its guards removed. It also heard that the injuries to the anonymous worker could have been far more severe – including a risk that he could have lost his life – if his fellow workers had not rushed in to save him.
Coleman and Company were charged with breaching s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and s.11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. They pleaded guilty to these charges and the Magistrates’ Court found them guilty of failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees and of failing to ensure that effective measures were taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. The court ordered that the company pay a £3,500 fine and that it pay £1,114 in costs.
Marc Hadrill, a solicitor at Redmans employment law solicitors, commented on the case that “this is a clear case where injury could so easily have been avoided by ensuring that the proper guards were in place to prevent injury coming to the worker. Employers must be extremely diligent to ensure that the risks to their employees in the workplace are minimised – so far as reasonably practicable”.
A Health and Safety Executive inspector, Mr Karl Raw, commented after the hearing that “this was an avoidable incident involving a dangerous piece of equipment which is designed to crush concrete. As such, the consequences of a person coming into contact with moving parts of the machine can be severe”.
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