Worker left with permanent injury due to Health and Safety failings of Essex nursery

Posted on 03/21/13 in News, No Comments

First Reported by the Health & Safety Executive on 1st February 2013:


The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations are in place to ensure that

employees who use work equipment are provided with adequate health and safety training.

Employees should be aware of the risks of the relevant equipment as well as the most

appropriate and safest methods for use. When the regulations are not adhered to, serious

accidents can occur.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation was started after a 32 year old man was left

with a double open fracture to his shinbone and multiple fractures to bones in his right foot

after the dumper truck he was driving in the course of his employment overturned.

The worker was removing an old path to a green house in an Essex based horticultural

nursery with an articulated dumper truck. The nursery had failed to provide adequate

training for safely using the truck. The worker could not read English yet received

instructions as to how to use the truck in a manual.

Consequently as he was emptying a load weighing about a tonne, the truck overbalanced

falling on its side and trapping the workers right leg underneath.

The man subsequently had to undergo four separate operations to repair and restructure

the bones in his leg and foot. This included the placing of pins and a skin graft. The worker

will continue to work with a limp for this rest of this life, and as of yet it remains unclear

whether he will ever regain the full use of his leg entirely.

The firm’s breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations led to a fine of

£8000 in total after a Health and Safety Executive investigation was initiated, and the case

was finally heard in Colchester Magistrates’ Court on 1st February 2013.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Julie Rayner said:

“Risks associated with the use of workplace transport equipment, dumper trucks in

particular, should never be underestimated. Had the employees received proper training for

the operation of the truck then this incident could have been prevented.

“Employers have a duty of care to ensure that drivers are suitably trained, that risks are

properly assessed, and that adequate safety measures are in place. Parkers Nurseries failed

to do so, and as a result a young man with his whole life ahead of him may now be left with

a permanent disability.”

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