Fatal Accident Highlights Dangers Of Using Faulty Machines

Man Dies While Using Second-Hand Skid Steer Loader In Blackburn

11.12.2013

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned companies they must check the safety credentials of any second-hand machines that they purchase.

This comes after Blackburn Skip Hire and its owner were prosecuted for safety failings that resulted in the death of 21-year-old worker Amin Qabil.

Mr Qabil suffered fatal head injuries as he used a skid steer loader at the firm's Lancashire site in August 2010.

His body was discovered in the early hours by the owner of a nearby business who had noticed that the gates had been left open.

It is not entirely clear how the incident occurred, but the HSE believes Mr Qabil might have inadvertently caught a lever as he left the cab. He was crushed against the vehicle when the front bucket was raised.

An investigation by the HSE found the company had purchased the loader from an auction, but had failed to notice that essential safety features were missing.

The minimum engine speed had been increased and the restraint bar had also been disabled. Mr Qabil had not received any formal training on how to use the vehicle.

Blackburn Skip Hire was fined £60,000 for its role in the accident and was ordered to pay costs of £19,000.

The firm's owner Zarif Mohammed was told to complete 160 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months and was also forced to cover costs of £1,000.

According to the HSE, the waste management and recycling industry is one of the most dangerous in Britain. Although it accounts for just 0.6 per cent of employees in the UK, it is responsible for 2.8 per cent of reported injuries to workers.

Latest figures showed there were ten fatalities reported across the sector in 2012-13.

Speaking after the hearing at Preston Crown Court, HSE inspector Matt Greenly said: "The company and its owner had a legal and moral duty to look after the safety of Mr Qabil, but sadly their failings led to him losing his life."

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. Visit our fatal accident claims or accidents at work claims page for more information.