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COMPANY FAILED TO CONTROL REVERSING VEHICLES

Lorry reversing struck and seriously injured construction worker

Carillion JM Ltd, of Wolverhampton has been fined £185k after a workman suffered life-threatening injuries after he was struck by a reversing truck on a Rochdale Business Park in November 2008.

The vehicle was reversing on the construction site when it struck Michael Gresty who was working on the project building a new track around a large pond.

Failure to separate vehicles and pedestrians caused serious injuries

The 56-year-old man was in hospital for four weeks following the incident and is unlikely to work due to the extent of his injuries.

He lost a kidney, suffered multiple fractures, lost one inch in height and experienced constant pain in his back and ribs more than a year later.

The court heard the truck was not safely guided during reversing despite regularly reversing up to 400m to drop off construction materials for the project. A pedestrian walkway to separate vehicles from pedestrians had not been marked on the track.

Carillion pleaded guilty to breaching HSW Act Sections 2 and 3 in failing to ensure the safety of workers. It also admitted breaching Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 by failing to carry out a suitable risk assessment.

Simple measures could and should have been taken

HSE Inspector Neil Martin said: “Michael Gresty is lucky to be alive following this very serious incident and he will never fully recover. His injuries could easily have been prevented if Carillion had followed basic health and safety procedures.

“It is not acceptable that a construction company, which employs 50,000 people around the world, did not carry out the right risk assessment or put a system in place for preventing collisions.

“It would have been simple to mark out a basic pedestrian walkway, using cones and tape, and have someone responsible for guiding reversing vehicles. If Carillion had done this, Michael Gresty would not have suffered agonising injuries.

“I hope this case demonstrates to all companies how important it is to separate pedestrians from vehicles on construction sites.”

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