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Lack of training caused life changing injuries

Date:
9 July 2015

Essex tree specialist company, Oak View Tree Specialists Limited, has been fined after a skip loading dumper overturned severely injuring a worker.

Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard how the injured person, who was an employee at the company, was working at the rear of a house in Benfleet, Essex on 26 September 2014 when the incident occurred. The 19-year-old employee had only a few minutes training on the use of the dumper truck. He had no driving licence and was not wearing a safety belt when he overturned the vehicle.

He was airlifted to hospital where he was found to have broken his back. He spent months in hospital and his injuries are life-changing. It is not known if he will ever be able to walk again.

On 17 June 2015, Oak View Tree Specialists Limited, of Rayleigh, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 as it failed to ensure that its employees received adequate training for the purposes of health and safety. The company was fined £3,000 with costs of £1,500.

On sentencing, HSE Inspector Keith Waller, said: “This was entirely an avoidable incident. The defendant failed to take reasonably practicable measures because they allowed their employee to operate a dangerous item of plant machinery with only the very minimum of training.

“It is not acceptable to put drivers into vehicles that they have not previously operated, or without the necessary training by a qualified and competent instructor.”

Notes to Editors:    

  1. Workplace transport is the second biggest cause of fatal and major incidents in the workplace. Employers must ensure that all drivers are properly trained by qualified, competent instructors for the vehicles they are operating.
  2. 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 
  3. Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation 1998 – Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken
  4. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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