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Scaffolding Company Plead Guilty After Forklift Collapse Leaves Worker In Intensive Care

Wakefield Man Hopes Lessons Will Be Learned From 2016 Incident

07.11.2018

James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

A labourer from Wakefield who was left in intensive care after a forklift crushed him at work two years ago has revealed how he hopes that lessons will be learned from his case after his former employer pleaded guilty to safety breaches.

Thomas Render, 32, was loading equipment onto a wagon with the forklift at White Rose Scaffolding’s Micklefield yard in October 2016. However, as he manoeuvred the vehicle it toppled over and, as no other workers were present, he was trapped underneath for around 45 minutes.

As well as suffering a shattered pelvis, the incident left him with a ruptured bladder and a hole in his bowel. The severity of the injuries meant he also required initial treatment in intensive care and spent approximately five months in hospital.

Now, following a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive in Leeds today (Wednesday 7 November), White Rose Scaffolding pleaded guilty to the charge of Section 2(1) for “failing to provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of their employees, including Thomas Render whilst operating fork lift trucks on their premises.”

The company was fined £54,270.

Following the incident, Thomas instructed specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help him gain answers and justice regarding the problems.

Claire Newstead, the serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office who is representing him, said: 

Expert Opinion
“Health and safety should always be a priority for employers and the details outlined in this case have highlighted how this company ultimately failed in its duty to properly protect Thomas.

“Following this prosecution, it is vital that all employers take steps to assess the details of this case and learn lessons from the issues that it has raised. We are now also pushing on with our efforts to ensure that our client can gain civil justice regarding what he has been through.”
Claire Newstead, Partner

Thomas, who has been unable to return to work since the accident due to his injuries, said: “The past couple of years have been incredibly difficult for me and every day is a struggle. It remains hard to look back on what happened on that day.

“However, while nothing will change what has happened to me, today’s outcome will still hopefully mean that the problems I’ve been through will not be repeated again in the future. 

“The conclusion of the HSE case is an important step towards me moving on with my life following everything I have been through and I am now hopeful of also securing justice regarding the incident too.”

Read about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in serious injury cases.