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WORKMAN FELL UNDER TELEHANDLER FRONT WHEEL

Makeshift handling system lands small builder in magistrates court

John Handley, of Nottingham has been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000 after a workman suffered “appalling leg injuries” when he fell under front wheel of a telehandler on a house build project in July 2009.

Nottingham Magistrates heard that when a consignment of breeze blocks were delivered to site they were not packaged so that the telehandler could pick them up with forks.

Mr Handley proceeded to use the  telehandler with a hydraulic grabber attachment. This resulted in the blocks ‘swaying’ as they were being transported.  Mr Handley asked workman David Cotterill to walk alongside the vehicle and steady the load with his hands.

During this manouvre Mr Cotterill slipped and fell beneath the front wheel of the telehandler fracturing his foot, ankle and leg. He will not be able to work in construction again and is retraining for an alternative career. 

Safe system of work not established

John Handley, of St Eia, Friday Lane, Gedling, Nottingham, admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of persons not in his employment. 

HSE Inspector Lee Greatorex said:

“In an ideal world the breeze blocks should have been delivered to their intended destination on the site but this wasn’t possible. Therefore Mr Handley should have properly planned the work and made sure the delivery arrived in the right format for the forks of a telehandler.

When this didn’t happen, a rope should have been attached to enable Mr Cotterill to steady the load at a safe distance.

Had Mr Handley taken the time to think through a safe system of work then a man may not have suffered such serious injuries.”

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