Two Plant Hire Employees Injured By Mini Digger

One Call Hire Fined After Workers Are Hurt By Excavator


A national plant hire company has been fined £4,000 after bosses pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

One Call Hire of Enfield was also ordered to pay £1,036 in costs following a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The firm was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in relation to a workplace accident that left two employees with painful injuries.

It emerged that the unnamed men were struck by a reversing mini-digger, which was being prepared for transportation to Australia.

As they cleaned the machine at the north London site, it inadvertently started to move, leaving one of the workers with leg injuries.

Although colleagues attempted to free the man, the excavator reversed again, hurting another employee. A third member of staff - who had been working underneath the digger - had a lucky escape.

One of the men suffered a broken bone below his knee, as well as extensive tissue damage to his foot and ankle.

According to the HSE, One Call Hire - which has 23 depots across the UK - had failed to introduce a safe system of work.

The court heard the employees were left to devise their own method of working and none of them had received any formal training.

HSE inspector Chris Tilley said: "Had the work been properly assessed, and measures taken to isolate power to the engine and make it safe, then the two workers could have avoided injury.

"One Call Hire has accepted its failings in this regard and we hope this prosecution sends a clear message to others."

Accidents involving heavy plant are not uncommon in the UK and many incidents occur when machines are being cleaned.

In September 2013, L&M Glazing of Bulwell, Nottingham was fined £11,000 after an employee was crushed by a two-and-a-half tonne excavator during a cleaning operation. The HSE found the company had failed to manage the risks to its employees.