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    DRIVER UNDER TRAINING CRUSHED BY TELEHANDLER

    Court sentences company director to unpaid work community order

    The director of a waste management company has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after an employee was critically injured in Poole, Dorset on 18th April 2017.

    Poole Magistrates heard that the employee had been employed for a “few weeks” when he became trapped between a telehandler and a gate post at premises where builders waste is recycled and processed.

    The employee was “struggling with a manoeuvre” and the machine became stuck. The engine was left running and with the door blocked the driver climbed out through the window to allow company director Michael Toon to free the machine.

    In doing so, the telehandler moved unexpectedly crushing the employee between the machine and a gate post. The injured man was unconscious in hospital for some weeks and has never fully recovered from his crush injuries.

    Serious faults found including braking system

    HSE investigators found that the driver was being trained to drive a telehandler by Michael Toon. The investigation found several serious long-term faults with the telehandler including some relating to braking.

    • Michael Toon – of Poole Road, Bournemouth pleaded guilty breaching section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974; that being a director of Michael Toon Ltd he failed to discharge his duty under section 2(1), the offence being committed with his consent or connivance or being attributable to his neglect.  He was given a 120 hours unpaid work community order and ordered to contribute to costs of £1500.

    HSE inspector Ian Smart said:

    “Michael Toon was well aware of the unsafe condition of the telehandler yet allowed it to be used by an inexperienced employee.

    HSE promotes safe-stop procedures where drivers should apply the parking brake and turn off the ignition before exiting any mobile machinery. This could not be done as the telehandler was in such poor mechanical condition.

    The law requires mobile machinery to be in safe working order at all times. Maintenance is not optional. This accident could easily have been prevented.”

     

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