Man from Winton loses leg in accident at work

The director of a Wimbourne building firm has been fined after a self-employed man loses his leg in an accident at work.

Dorchester Crown Court were told that David Mitchell, a director of Ferndown Developments Ltd., hired James O’Connor from Winton, to work at a cottage when the accident happened in April 2009.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the property was on a sloping site and needed excavating below the level of the shallow cottage foundation in order to build the foundation for the extension.

Mr O’Connor, aged 42, was in the process of lowering the ground level when the gable wall collapsed onto him, knocking him to the ground.

At the same time, part of the wall fell through the windscreen of an excavator which activated the reverse lever.

Mr O’Connor’s leg was on the track of the excavator and was pulled in, becoming trapped between the track and the body of the excavator. As a result, he suffered shoulder, back and leg injuries and had to have his right leg amputated above his knee.

The HSE investigation found that Mr Mitchell, who was contracted to carry out the work, did not control the work in a safe manner. He failed to identify the need to support the building whilst excavation and foundation stages were carried out.

Melanie Lidstone Land, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “This accident at work was entirely preventable and has left a man in his prime needing to have his leg amputated.”

“His injuries will affect him for the rest of his life.”

This case serves as a reminder to all those in the construction industry of their legal duties to manage health and safety effectively.

If you have been injured in an accident at work that was not your fault, Melanie Lidstone Land and Vicki Wright will be happy to offer you a free initial consultation to discuss the possibilities of making a claim against your employer.

We can work on a no win no fee basis.

So call Melanie or Vicki for free on 0800 0351 999

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