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Coalville company in court over unsafe truck hire

Date:
9 April 2015

A Leicestershire tool and plant hire company has been fined after a worker was injured by a defective dumper truck it provided to a farmer. 

Derby Magistrates’ Court today (09 April) heard that JB Tool Hire had hired out a dumper truck and excavator to a farmer near Hartshorne, Derbyshire. 

On 28 August 2013 the farmer and a self-employed contractor, who has asked not to be named, were using the excavator to load the dumper, which was parked near the top of a slope. The contractor stood to one side while loading took place, but when it was about half full he noticed the truck starting to roll forward. 

The 50-year-old of Coalville, ran and tried to climb onto the vehicle to apply the footbrake. However, as he did so, the steering column struck the excavator shovel, trapping his right leg against the driver’s seat. 

He broke his leg, cut his shin and required a skin graft. He also suffered a blood clot and was unable to work for five months. 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found JB Tool Hire had checked both vehicles before they went out on hire but failed to identify the dumper’s parking brake was faulty. A replacement brake cable rectified the problem. 

JB Tool Hire Ltd, of Comet Way, Hermitage Industrial Estate, Coalville, pleaded guilty to  breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £14,000 with £8199.74  costs. 

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Edward Walker said: “This was a serious incident where someone was badly hurt. The faults with the parking brake should have been identified before it was sent out to a customer. Had this been done and the brake cable replaced, the incident would have been prevented. 

“Effective maintenance is important to ensure that equipment works reliably and can prevent additional dangers, particular with heavy plant vehicles such as in this case.” 

An approved code of practice and guidance aimed at those with responsibility for work equipment can be downloaded free from the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l22.htm

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace   health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 
  2. Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. 
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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