Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Worker Lost Leg in Collision with Vehicle at Work
Posted by David Cant on October 11, 2012

Johnson Controls have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive at an accident involving one of their employees. The builders were working at a nuclear site in Cumbria when he was run over by a cherry picker. Ken Brown was guiding the vehicle on foot when he was hit, and as a result of the accident he lost his leg.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted his employer as an investigation into the accident revealed a number of problems. Mr Brown had been put at risk because there wasn’t a safe system of work created or followed for the task he was performing. The inspectors also discovered that Mr Brown had not received any training for the task despite having taken on the role several times a month for 14 months before the accident.

Guilty of Breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act

The case was heard at Carlisle Crown Court on October 8th 2012 where the judge heard about the incident. Mr Brown was directing the cherry picker to ensure it moved safely down the one way road. Unfortunately it ran over him and he was rushed to hospital where they had no choice but to amputate his leg from above his knee joint. The company decided to plead guilty to the charges and were fined £65,000 and an additional £8,162 in court costs.

The HSE inspector Faye Wingfield spoke about the accident after the hearing. She said that Mr Brown had suffered with an injury that will stay with him for his entire life. Vehicles cause multiple accidents each year and are a major contributor to accidents in the workplace. It is the responsibility of the employer to determine safe systems that will help to avoid such accidents and keep workers and vehicles separated.

A Risk Assessment was Necessary

Ms Wingfield pointed out that the job of directing the cherry picker may not have been absolutely necessary. This is due to the vehicle driving down the one way street in a forward direction rather than reversing. However, a risk assessment could have determined if this role was necessary and could have provided the employers with enough information to create a safe system of work if it was. Mr Brown could have the received adequate training and given the techniques necessary to communicate with the driver of the vehicle in a safe fashion.

Health and Safety consultants can help to provide you with the skills you need in order to prevent accidents in the workplace. There are multiple training courses readily available, many can be held in your own work premises or an agreed location for your convenience. If you would like to discuss training or any other health and safety services that are suitable for your needs please contact us on 0800 1488 677.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety, Health and Safety Consultancy, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Health and Safety, Workplace Safety

Follow all of the latest Veritas Consulting news on our RSS feed

Twitter: Veritas_Tweets