Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

October 14, 2016

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£130k fine for metal company after agency worker loses foot

A Bedfordshire metal company has been fined for safety breaches after a worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot.

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how 24-year-old Luke Simpson, who was an agency worker for the company, was injured when a trolley carrying metal stock fell on his legs causing severe injuries.

The right equipment and a correct maintenance system would have prevented this from happening. – HSE

A bundle of 18 stainless steel bars weighing about 900kg was on a four wheeled trolley. The trolley was manually moved by Mr Simpson and another staff member but it tipped over and the bundle of bars fell off the top of the trolley trapping his leg and foot. He was rushed to hospital by the emergency services.


Mr Simpson’s right leg was broken and his right foot was badly crushed. Despite a number of operations to save his foot, most of it was amputated and he now has a prosthetic foot. It was many months before he was able to return to work. Mr Simpson is currently only able to work on a part-time basis.

HSE found that the metal trolleys had been used on site for some 20 years without incident. Smiths purchased the trolleys to be used as ‘workstations’, but employees had chosen to also use them to move metal stock around the site. There was no risk assessment or written system of work for these trolleys at the time of the accident. The trolley also had faulty wheels and there was no record of any maintenance.  After the accident, the trolley was given a safe working load of 500kg; half the weight placed on the trolley at the time of the accident.

Smiths Metal Centres Limited of Stratton Business Park, Bedfordshire pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £130,000 with costs of £2,456.40 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emma Page said: “Luke’s life has been drastically altered by what happened and this incident could have been very easily avoided with some very simple measures. The right equipment and a correct maintenance system would have prevented this from happening.”

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7 years ago

So a 24 year old agency workers foot costs £130K, compared to an unspecified injury (presumably minor) to the actor, Harrison Ford – as per yesterdays headline story that cost £1.6M. What a fair and just world we live in …..

Frank Sheppard
Frank Sheppard
7 years ago

Again the fine does not fit the crime, This young man is destined to being disabled for the rest of his life possibly the next 50 years based on the figures for longevity recently published. The bill being picked up by the country as a whole.Was there evidence of him being trained in Manual handling the fact that the equipment was showing serious signs of wear and tear and missing bits must have given the HSE sufficient reason that a major breach of safety could have happened and was likely to happen. Thus increasing the value of culpability.and therefore possibly… Read more »

£130k fine for metal company after agency worker loses foot | Ace Office Environments
7 years ago

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