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Hire Firm Fined After Falling Skip Leaves Worker Seriously Injured

Legal Specialist Calls On Employers To Learn Lessons From Incident


By Rob Dixon

Newcastle skip hire firm N A Park Ltd has been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs following an accident at work, in which a 45-year-old worker suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by a falling skip.

Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard today (September 10th) that the worker was sorting through waste in Brunswick Village in December 2010, when it had been noted that frost on the skips meant the contents may be frozen.

A wagon driver moved a skip to be emptied, but with the frozen conditions making this difficult, the skip was unloaded from the vehicle and left in the building.

However, another colleague used a shovel loader to release the frozen waste and during the effort to turn the skip back to its upright position, the grab of the shovel gripping the edge of the skip opened, causing the skip to fall and hit the worker on the head.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the shovel loader did not have suitable equipment fitted to undertake the lifting operation.

Rachel Di Clemente, a workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office who helps victims of work accidents to gain justice over the ordeals they have faced, said: “This case is like so many we are involved in, as it has highlighted how very serious injuries can be caused by basic safety failings.

“It also reflects the long-term, life-changing consequences of such incidents, as this worker has been unable to return to work since suffering serious head injuries in this accident.

“We would urge skip hire firms and other employers involved in the movement and lifting of heavy goods to always ensure adequate steps are taken to protect both their workers and general public from harm.

“Lessons need to be learned from the problems seen in cases like these if health and safety in such workplaces is to ever be improved.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Falling Objects claims