Worker offered cash to keep silent about accident, court hears
The owner of a haulage firm in Ludlow, Shropshire allegedly offered an employee cash to lie about a work accident in which he had lost a thumb.
John Bagley originally worked for Chris Hazel Haulage as a HGV driver until Hazel asked him to work for him doing shot blasting work. Bagley states that he was not given any formal training to use the machinery. On 4th March 2014, Bagley's workwear became caught in the chain of the machine and, while trying to take the overalls off, his hand became twisted.
The injury to Bagley's arm included a broken forearm, shattered fingers and wrist, a hairline fracture and the loss of his thumb. According to the injured party, the guard had not been in place on the machine and it had not been for a considerable amount of time. According to Bagley, Hazel asked him to lie and say that the guard had been in place, while also offering £2,000 compensation for the loss of his thumb.
The Health and Safety Executive is prosecuting Hazel following the accident. However, Hazel has denied charges in connection with failure to remain compliant with health and safety regulations and compliance with regulations for work equipment. Although Bagley initially told the paramedics that the guard was in place, he relented and told them the full story.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that Bagley had worked for Hazel for five years but had not been offered training for the machinery. Bagley told the court that he had not thought the machine was turned on at that point. Hazel has denied offering any money to his employee.