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November 25, 2013

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Company fined after worker disfigured on first day

 

A demolition company has been ordered to pay over £67,000 after an employee was hit by a falling excavator bucket on his first day on site.
 
James Wilson, of Misterton, Nottinghamshire, was working as a labourer for Bloom Plant Ltd on a demolition site on Kilton Road, Worksop on 10 January 2011 when he was injured.
 
Paul Batty, an excavator driver also employed by Bloom Plant Ltd, was re-attaching a four tonne excavator bucket to the boom of his machine when it fell and slid down a pile of rubble, landing on Mr Wilson leaving him with severe crash injuries.
 
Mr Wilson, who was 46 at the time of the incident, lost his left eye and part of his scalp. He punctured a lung and severed the nerves on his bottom lip as well as breaking his eye socket, cheekbone, jaw, nose, left collarbone, several ribs and his left leg.
 
Mr Wilson was in a coma for two weeks and had to have a tracheotomy to help him breathe. He needed extensive reconstructive surgery and will continually need to take pain relief.
 
Following an investigation by the HSE Nottingham Crown Court heard that Bloom Plant Ltd had no safe systems of work in place and had not given Mr Wilson adequate information, instruction, training or supervision including adequate warnings of the hazards involved when working around plant.
 
The court heard that employees should have been excluded from the area while the bucket was being re-attached and a safety pin used to secure it in place.
 
Bloom Plant Ltd, of Askham Road, East Markham, Newark, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the HSWA 1974 by failing to provide and maintain safe systems of work and to provide adequate information, instruction, training or supervision. On 22 November the company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £27,500.
 
Following the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said: “Bloom Plant Ltd should have provided safe systems of work with better instruction, information, training and supervision, especially at the operations being carried out were known to have serious risks. Instead, Mr Wilson was put in a position of grave danger.” 
 
Paul Nathan Batty, of Grange Road, Ordsall, Retford, pleaded guilty to breaching section 7(a) of the HSWA 1974 for failing to take reasonable care of the health and safety of others. He was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay a £200 contribution towards costs at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 3 October 2012.

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