Real-life H&S incidents

Company fined after wheel of industrial vehicle falls onto worker’s feet

Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
6th July 2017
industrial vehicle

A company has been fined after the wheel of a JCB digger fell onto one of its workers. The man was working for Holt JCB Limited at a site on Port Talbot, on 8 April 2016.

Swansea Magistrates Court heard how the apprentice was tasked with changing air-filled wheels with foam wheels on a machine intended to be used on a recycling site. The wheel weighed more than 400kg. The incident left the man with broken bones in both feet. 

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company did not have any handling equipment for wheels, had not assessed the operation and had not trained workers on how to handle wheels. 

Holt JCB Limited of Third Way, Bristol pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Manual Handling Regulations 1992. The company has today been fined £67,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2929.70. 

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Steve Richardson said:

“This incident could have been prevented if the company had used a mechanical wheel handler costing less than £700. Measures such as this would have been apparent had the task been properly assessed.”

Phoenix comments: 

The prosecution highlights the principles of risk assessment and management; and working practice that embeds proportionate and effective risk governance. Such incident could have been avoided with investment of a wheel handling. The HSE provides details on sensible risk management and cost benefit analysis for investing into proportionate risk controls.