A pig-farming business based in the north of England has been heavily fined by the Teeside Magistrates’ Court after a worker was seriously injured in an accident at work.
Imogen Simpson, 45, was working at F Brunton & Sons Ltd’s farm premises at Poplar Farm, Guisborough, when the accident occurred on 21 June 2012. She was helping another worker to fill feed bags from a hopper which had been suspended from the forks of a forklift truck when there was a blockage. The other worker attempted to free the blockage by moving the forks of the forklift truck up and down but this caused the hopper to slip from the forks and plummet to the ground, striking Ms Simpson on the head. As a result of the accident Ms Simpson sustained multiple skull fractures, a crushed left ankle and had her left leg broken in four places. She is unlikely to be able to ever return to work and is even more unlikely to be able to return to her previous duties.
The Health and Safety Executive subsequently investigated the incident and found that there had been a number of health and safety breaches by the firm, including:
- A failure to implement a safe system of work to deal with feed blockages
- That the forklift truck was unsuitable for the task at hand
The HSE therefore recommended that a prosecution of F Brunton & Sons Ltd.
The matter came before the Teeside Magistrates’ Court on 30 September 2013. The firm pleaded guilty to a breach of s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs of £5,153.40.
Chris Hadrill, an employment law solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers in the United Kingdom have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and third parties by taking reasonably practicable steps to prevent harm coming to these persons. The HSE and the court clearly felt in this instance that the company hadn’t taken the requisite steps to prevent such harm.”
Health and Safety Executive Inspector Mr Jonathan Willis said after the hearing that: “Imogen Simpson sustained serious injuries and has been unable to return to a job that she loved in an incident that was entirely preventable. She can no longer enjoy simple activities such as walking her two dogs and has to use a stick just to get about.”
Redmans Solicitors are a firm of employment solicitors in Kingston and can help you claim personal injury if you’ve been injured at work