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Compensation news – Young Tipton worker died in preventable accident

12th June 2012

The 21-year-old worker had been employed by a recycling company in Tipton in the West Midlands and was loading scrap paper onto a conveyor belt using a JCB skid steer loader at the time of the fatal accident.

Upon finishing the task he lifted the machine’s safety bar to isolate it, which should have meant that it was safe for him to leave the vehicle’s cab.

However, as he lent out from the front of the machine, the JCB loader’s arm dropped from its position and crushed the worker’s head between the arm and the machine’s main body. The employee was killed instantly by the force of the impact.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that not only had the young man been working unsupervised, but he had not received any training to enable him to operate the machine safely. Furthermore, the vehicle itself had not been serviced for eight months prior to the fatal incident, when it should have been checked at least twice in that time.

The company was fined £200,000 for breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and ordered to pay £77,402 in court costs. The firm was also ordered to pay £4,450 to the worker’s mother for funeral expenses.

Whether the family plans to launch an accident at work claim against the recycling company has not been reported, but with help from a work accident solicitor they could be compensated for their losses.

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