Worker breaks spine due to inadequate safety measures
A firm has been fined £12,000 after failing to maintain and repair a guard-rail which caused a worker to fall nearly three metres, breaking his spine.
The worker also had to have skin grafts because his head received deep cuts in several places.
Black Country-based AB Waste Management Ltd admitted breaking Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Magistrates in Walsall & Aldridge were told that the worker was cleaning a crushing machine at Junction Works, Cemetery Road, Darlaston, in June last year when he fell. His spine was broken in two places.
Health and safety inspector Gardabil Singh said: "The worker was seriously let down by his employers who failed to maintain the safety measures that were supposed to protect him. The employee could easily have been killed if he'd fallen into the crushing machine when it was in operation. It's all very well installing a guard-rail and other precautions, but if they're not maintained and repaired properly then they are useless."
The firm was also ordered to pay £1,836 in costs.
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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This was a very serious work accident and one that could so easily have resulted in fatal injuries.
“Time and time again, of I see cases where employers have simply failed to meet their legal obligations and their failures have led to a serious or fatal accident at work.
“This latest prosecution shows employers that if they neglect the safety of their workers, prosecutions will follow.”