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Firm fined £20,000 after worker crushed by vehicle loses leg

By Kyle Lindsay
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 16:00

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JudgeHammer

TRAGIC: Victim forced to have right leg amputated

A County Durham firm has been fined £20,000 after a worker was crushed by a moving vehicle, forcing him to have his leg amputated.

The unnamed 32-year-old Great Ayton man was trapped between a vehicle similar to a forklift truck and a water tank at Con Mech Engineers, Stanley, on January 26, 2012.

He was pinned by his legs for almost an hour before being freed by emergency services and was in hospital for a month.

His right leg had to be amputated below the knee, and then later above the knee, while his left leg also suffered a fractured femur and severe crush injuries.

“By failing to introduce simple precautions, a worker has suffered serious, life-changing injuries.”

Cain Mitchell, HSE

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators told Peterlee Magistrates’ Court that the man, an agency worker, had been working in the heat treatment process area.

Investigators found Con Mech Engineers had failed to assess and identify the risk posed to workers from contact with the dangerous moving vehicle, which transports heavy components and runs on a fixed track.

As a consequence, they had failed to provide effective measures to prevent any contact.

Con Mech Engineers Ltd, of Harelaw Industrial Estate, Annfield Plain, Stanley, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

They were fined £20,000 – £10,000 for each offence – and ordered to pay £8,045 in costs.

Cain Mitchell, Inspector at the HSE, said: “This incident could have been easily prevented if Con Mech Engineers Ltd had identified the risks and then provided suitable measures to make sure workers did not come into contact with the moving machinery.

“By failing to introduce simple precautions, a worker has suffered serious, life-changing injuries.”

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