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22nd September 2019

Groundworks Company Hit With £10,000 Fine

Excavator digging the ground

What’s happened?

A groundworks company has been fined after a security guard working on-site suffered serious hand injuries which resulted in him being off work for over 7 months as a result.

A plant driver employed by Groundworks Company – APK Earthmoving Limited requested the assistance of a security guard working for a separate company to remove a trailer from a bulldozer whilst the machine was operated by the driver. During the activity, the security guard’s right hand became trapped between a metal post and the bulldozer resulting in the amputation of his middle and ring fingers, and loss of movement in his index finger of his right hand.

Investigation

Due to the seriousness of the injuries sustained, an investigation was undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which found that APK Earthmoving Limited had failed to conduct its undertaking, (namely the hire of mobile plant and driver services), in such a way that people not in its employment were exposed to risks to their safety.

APK Earthmoving Limited appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court where they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1297.00.

The injured person said: “I was off work for seven months and I still have a lot of pain in my hand.  As I am right-handed my injuries have affected my writing, and there are many tasks at work and at home that I need help with.  I tend to keep my hand in my pocket because I’m concerned it will affect people if they see my injuries.”

Speaking after the hearing the HSE inspector involved in the case said: “This injury could have been easily prevented if a safe system of work had been followed, with the bulldozer ignition turned off before anyone was allowed close to remove the trailer.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess risks and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from their machinery operations.”

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