Company fined after worker loses both legs in ‘preventable’ accident

News Article

A landfill company has been fined £180,000 after a worker was run over and had to have both legs amputated.

Mold Crown Court was told that the employee, who has not been named, had been walking across the yard at the landfill site in Llanidloes in Mid Wales when he was hit by a large shovel loader. The worker suffered such severe injuries that surgeons were unable to save his legs, resulting in him being hospitalised for six months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which happened in November 2015, discovered that although the company had previously identified the risk and how they could prevent workers being hit by vehicles they had not acted on this by putting in place controls to protect workers from the high volume of vehicles and traffic on site.

Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Limited, part of the Potter Group, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work (1974) Act and in addition to being fined £180,000 were ordered to pay costs of £7,657.10.

HSE inspector Mhairi Duffy said, “It is extremely important to identify how to protect your workers but you must back this up with action. This worker and his family’s lives have been changed forever because Sundorne Products Ltd failed to take action and protect their workers from being run over by vehicles on the site.

“All businesses that have high volumes of vehicles on their site can learn from this case.”

Lara Murray, an Associate and health and safety legal expert with Palmers, said: “Risk assessments exist for a reason – they should not be viewed as a box ticking exercise, to be consigned to a filing cabinet.

“By acting upon the findings of a risk assessment and making controls part of the daily workplace routine, a company is not only protecting its workers or members of the public from harm, but also minimising the risk of legal action and loss of reputation.

“In particular, any company which has moving vehicles or plant on-site, should learn from this case and ensure that their employees are properly protected.”

For advice on all aspects of employment law including putting in place a legally compliant risk assessment for your company, please contact us.