Mr Steele, 20, was moving heavy equipment with a tractor whilst working for a groundworks company. He had parked the tractor and applied the handbrake but there was no parking brake, it had been removed during maintenance 5 months previously. The handbrake was insufficient to hold the tractor which rolled backwards crushing his leg.
Despite a 9 hour operation surgeons were unable to save Mr Steele’s leg, and it was amputated above the knee, requiring a prosthetic. He was unable to work for 2 years following the incident.
It was found that the company had not carried out proper risk assessment of the machinery Mr Steele was using. It had failed to ensure that safety equipment was fully operative. They were fined £32,000 for a breach of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE Inspector Kerry Elliot said, “This was an entirely avoidable incident and the failures by the company led directly to this life-changing injury sustained by a young man, aged just 20 at the time of the incident. The equipment was not suitable in combination for the work it was being put to and furthermore was poorly maintained with the parking lock actually being disabled rather than repaired. Mr Steele has finally been able to return to work but he will endure the after effects of this incident for the rest of his life.”
Melanie Lidstone-Land, Associate and Personal Injury Specialist at Swain & Co Solicitors LLP says, “This case highlights the serious consequences which can occur if health and safety legislation is not properly followed.”
If you have suffered an injury that was not your fault, either in a road traffic accident, at work or from a trip or fall, you could be entitled to compensation.
Swain & Co.’s personal injury lawyers offer FREE initial consultations and can act on a no win no fee basis.