Hampshire based firm, Tunnel Tech Limited, has been fined after a man was left with life changing injuries following an accident at work.
Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard how the man was injured whilst dismantling polytunnel structures and the bulkhead fell on him.
The man suffered life changing injuries as a result of the accident at work. The catalogue of injuries included a collapsed lung, ruptured diaphragm, displaced intestines, broken pelvis, six rib fractures and spinal fractures.
The man was part of a team dismantling the structures. They had difficulty removing part of the sheeting and it was decided that a forklift would be used to drive away from the tunnel with a rope attached to the sheeting.
The injured man was moving materials on the ground between the tunnel being dismantled and the skip for disposal.
The end of the tunnel, consisting of a gable end weighing 750kg struck the man causing him significant injuries.
He faced extensive rehabilitation and has been left with lifelong consequences. He will have to wear specially modified footwear for the rest of his life, walks with a slight limp and has lost his independence.
His partner has also been severely affected as they had to take time off and help care for him.
The Health and Safety Executive, who prosecuted the cases, told the court that the accident at work was ‘wholly preventable’.
If a suitable and sufficient risk assessment had been carried out it would have identified the need to use suitably trained people with specialist skills and knowledge for work to be carried out safely.
Vicki Wright, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “This accident at work demonstrates the dangers of works not being risk assessed sufficiently. It also highlights that injuries at work have the potential to have life changing impacts to not only the injured employee, but their family also.”