Safe Systems of Work Fine

A worker suffered severe crush injuries when he was hit by a falling excavator bucket on his first day of work at a demolition site.

The worker, who was 46 when the incident happened, lost his left eye and part of his scalp. He also broke his eye socket, cheekbone, jaw, nose, left collarbone, several ribs and his left leg. In addition, the incident punctured a lung and severed the nerves on his bottom lip. He was in a coma for two weeks and had to have a tracheotomy to help him breathe. He also needed extensive reconstructive surgery, is still receiving medical treatment, and will continue to require pain relief.

An investigation by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the demolition company had no safe systems of work in place and had not given the worker adequate information, instruction, training or supervision including adequate warnings of the hazards involved when working around plant.

Nottingham Crown Court was told 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.

Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work.”

The HSE Press Release is here.

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