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Worker’s leg was crushed by falling vehicle chassis

October 9 2013

A shotblasting firm could face a substantial personal injury claim after a worker’s leg was crushed by a falling vehicle chassis.

Jason Atwell, from Dudley, suffered a broken leg and was unable to work for eight months following the incident at Jackson Shotblasters in May last year

The 42-year-old still sufferers from aches and stiffness.

Jackson Shotblasters was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified serious safety failings.

Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court was told Mr Atwell was working with a colleague to manoeuvre a large chassis weighing around 1,700kg onto metal stands in a booth ready for shotblasting.

He was standing in the booth while his colleague operated a forklift truck to lower the chassis onto the stand.

Without warning the chassis slipped from the forks of the truck and fell onto his legs, crushing them and pinning him against the booth wall.

HSE’s investigation found that the forklift truck used was a standard size, with standard length forks that were approximately 1.6m long. These were not long enough to safely lift the 2.4m wide chassis.

Magistrates were told the incident was preventable had suitable lifting equipment, such as a larger fork lift truck or a crane appropriate to the size of the chassis, been used instead.

Jackson Shotblasters also failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment for the task, or properly supervise the work. Mr Atwell had not been trained on how to safely lift a chassis, or other items, in and out of a shotblasting booth.

Jackson Shotblasters Ltd, of Jackson House, Dale Street, Bilston, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £3,912 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Judith Lloyd said: “This incident was entirely preventable – the risks were significant and should have been obvious to the company.

“Jackson Shotblasters failed to make sure that there was a safe system of work for lifting the chassis and other fabrications at its premises.”

If you have suffered an accident at work you could be entitled to compensation. Call the personal injury team at PM Law solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 2965444.