Company must pay £67,500 after worker loses an eye

A demolition firm has been ordered to pay £67,500 after an employee lost an eye and part of his scalp on his first day working for them.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 26th November 2013, 11:23 am
Former Seafields Site, Eastgate, Worksop.  Accident on construction site.
Former Seafields Site, Eastgate, Worksop. Accident on construction site.

Bloom Plant Ltd was fined £40,000 and must also pay £27,500 costs at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday.

Labourer James Wilson, of Misterton, was working for Bloom Plant Ltd on a demolition site on Kilton Road, Worksop, on 10th January 2011.

Excavator driver Paul Batty, who was also employed by Bloom Plant Ltd, was re-attaching the four tonne excavator bucket to the boom of his machine when it fell and slid down a pile of rubble, landing on Mr Wilson and leaving him with major crush injuries.

Mr Wilson, who was 46 when the incident happened, lost his left eye and part of his scalp.

He also broke his eye socket, cheekbone, jaw, nose, left collarbone, several ribs and his left leg.

He also punctured a lung and severed the nerves on his bottom lip.

Mr Wilson was in a coma for two weeks and had to have a tracheotomy to help him breathe. He also needed extensive reconstructive surgery.

He is still receiving medical treatment and will continually need to take pain relief.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Bloom Plant Ltd had no safe systems of work in place and had not given Mr Wilson adequate information, instruction, training or supervision including adequate warnings of the hazards involved when working around plant.

Nottingham Crown Court was told that employees should have been excluded from the area while the bucket was being re-attached and a safety pin used to secure it in place.

Bloom Plant Ltd, of Askham Road, East Markham, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 by failing to provide and maintain safe systems of work and to provide adequate information, instruction, training or supervision, at an earlier hearing at Worksop Magistrates’ Court in October, last year.

At that hearing Kate Blackwell, representing Bloom Plant Ltd, said the accident had been a ‘one off.’

She told the court that the company had suffered a huge outlay to ensure it would never happen again.

The company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £27,500 at Friday’s hearing.

After the hearing HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said: “Mr Wilson suffered appalling injuries and was extremely lucky to survive.”

“Bloom Plant Ltd should have provided safe systems of work with better instruction, information, training and supervision, especially as the operations being carried out were known to have serious risks.”

“Instead, Mr Wilson was put in a position of grave danger.”