Company Fined After Worker Crushed

Man Injured In Work Accident


Northumbrian Water has been fined £17,000 after one of its workers was left in intensive care because of faulty machinery.

Robert Ayers was crushed between the loading bucket and cab of a loader, in an incident the Health and Safety Executive said was "potentially fatal".

The water firm must also pay around £17,000 in costs.

The accident happened in March 2008 at the Lound Water treatment works site in Suffolk.

Lowestoft Magistrates' Court was told how employee Mr Ayers was getting into the cab of the Bobcat vehicle, slipped and accidentally pressed the control to raise the vehicle's bucket.

He then got trapped between the cab and the bucket, suffering crush injuries and permanent scarring. He was in intensive care for three days because of his injuries.

The HSE said the device that usually stops the bucket being raised when there is no one in the driver's seat of the vehicle was faulty. It also found that Ayers and other workers were not adequately trained to use the vehicle.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this work accident.

“Employers need to ensure workers are provided with safe and well maintained work equipment so as to prevent workers being injured or killed in an accident at work.

“All too often I have to help workers pursue their compensation claim following injuries sustained in a work accident.”