Health and safety prosecution highlights importance of equipment safety
A director of a landscape company has been given a suspended sentence at Leeds Crown Court following an accident in which a worker’s arm was severely injured due to faulty safety systems.
The incident involved a worker using a lorry loader crane in Leeds. When the crane arm was lowered, a spike sticking out from the control system impaled his left arm. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection found that the crane’s safety system had been disabled and the worker had not received adequate tanning on how to operate it.
The director of the RK United Ltd landscaping company, Hafeez Ghafoor, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act and was given a year’s prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.
Yolande Burns-Sleighholme, an HSE inspector said that the injury could easily have been prevented had the risk been identified.
The lorry loader crane was poorly maintained and no regular safety inspections had been carried out. An examination would have spotted the disabled safety system and taken appropriate action to make sure that it was working.
It is normal for people working on landscape or construction sites to wear protective workwear, but without equipment, safety systems and training in how to safely operate equipment, workers are not fully protected from accidents. In this case, the worker had several bones shattered in his arm, which can be life-changing injuries.