HSE prosecute council over near fatal accident at work

Bradford Council have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after serious safety breaches resulted in a near fatal accident at work.

A 23-year old employee was working from a height of about 35 feet and was pruning dead branches when the cherry picker overturned which sent him crashing to the ground.

As a result of the accident at work, the man suffered multiple injuries including fractures to his spine, his collar bone, pelvis and his right leg, plus he sustained internal injuries that required surgery.

The man was 22 when the accident happened in July 2012 and was off work for five months.

He has since returned to work, but is no longer able to carry out tree work from height.

The resulting HSE investigation found there were a series of failings involving planning and preparation of the tree work and the use of the cherry picker.

Two tree workers correctly set up the cherry picker on a compacted path in the woods and one of them worked in the extended cradle among the tree tops. As he rotated the boom arm and the cradle anti-clockwise to move between trees, the weight distribution of the cherry picker changed and it overturned.

The HSE discovered that when the weight shifted, one of the cherry picker’s stabiliser feet had slid off the ground mat and sunk into soft ground to the side of the compacted path. The wrong type of ground mats had been provided for the team to put underneath the machine’s feet.

The investigation found that the council had failed to properly plan and organise the safety aspects of tree pruning tasks.

Plus, all council workers who did tree work in off-road locations had never received training to carry out the work in soft, sloping or uneven ground; all the training had been done in a depot yard.

Vicki Wright, expert personal injury solicitor at Swain & Co says, “A young man has suffered serious injuries in an accident at work that could have been prevented. Fortunately, given the height of the fall, this was not a fatal accident.”

“Working from height and the use of a cherry picker needs to be planned and organised properly to prevent such incidences for happening.”

Accidents at work can have far reaching consequences for people and their families. Not only can there be physical injuries requiring recovery time and potentially life long injuries to adapt too, but there can be problems such as loss of earnings, both immediate and future earnings, for your family.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident at work that was not your fault, Vicki is happy to offer free initial advice about making a claim for compensation.

We also work on a no win no fee basis.

So, call Vicki today for free on 0800 0351 999