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Prosecution for failure to protect workers

Solent Waste Services, Eastleigh, Hampshire, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay nearly £20,000 in costs after one of its workers suffered a double fracture to his shin, and broken bones in both feet, after being struck by a works vehicle manoeuvring around the site.

There were no clear areas marked out for vehicles or workers who needed to get around the waste management plant, and it was because of this that the accident occurred.

Mr Jewell was a skip driver who worked for Solent Waste Services. He had returned to the site to see if there was another job for him to complete. In order to complete his next job, he needed another empty skip and asked one of the digger drivers to pull one out for him. As he walked back across the yard, the digger driver reversed into him, causing Mr Jewell's serious leg injuries, from which he may never properly recover.

Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act says that it is the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees. This was breached by Solent Waste Management in the case of Mr Jewell, meaning that they did not comply with the law.

Evidence was heard in Westminster Magistrates Court that workers often walked into and stood where vehicles were being used or in transit, so it seemed that it was only matter of time before such an accident happened.

Diane Parker, head of Atherton Godfrey's Personal Injury department, said: "Any employer who has both employees and vehicles moving on a site together must carefully risk assess the area, and plan where and how employees will be able to move safely throughout the site, and how and where vehicles can safely operate."

Accidents involving vehicles at work are among some of the most common. If you have been injured in a similar accident at work, speak to us today – our specialist personal injury lawyers may be able to help you with your claim to compensation.

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