A landfill company in Wales has been fined after an employee had to have both legs amputated following an accident at work.
Accident at work
In November 2015, a worker was walking across the Bryn Posteg Landfll site in Llanidloes, when he was struck by a large shovel loader. The worker suffered serious injuries to his legs, both of which had to be amputated at the mid-thigh. He was also required to spend a total of six months in hospital.
The Health and Safety Executive ~(HSE) launched an investigation into the incident which found the company did not have measures in place to protect workers from traffic and vehicles on site. The risk had previously been identified, however it was not acted on.
Sentencing and fines
Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Limited, part of the Potter Group, in Henfaes lane, Welshpool, Powys pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work (1974) Act. The company was were fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,657.10.
Mhairi Duffy, HSE inspector, said after the hearing:
“It is extremely important to identify how to protect your workers but you must back this up with action. This worker and his family lives have been changed forever because Sundorne Products Ltd failed to take action and protect their workers from being run over by vehicles on the site.
“All businesses that have high volumes of vehicles on their site can learn from this case.”
Accident at work – expert advice
Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.
To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The owners of Alton Towers theme park, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. (Merlin), have admitted to breaching health & safety laws regarding the highly reported crash involving the park’s Smiler roller coaster last year.
Recap – Smiler Crash
On 2nd June 2015, four people were seriously injured on the Smiler ride when a cart carrying 16 people collided at speed with an empty test cart.
Passengers were suspended at a 45 degree angle over 7 meters off the ground and rescue efforts went on for over four hours. Fire crews had to erect a 25 ft. platform in order to allow emergency services to gain access to the injured passengers.
During the incident, two passengers – Leah Washington, 17, and Vicky Balch, 20 – sustained such serious injuries that they each required leg amputation. Leah and Vicky’s partners, Daniel Thorpe, 27, and Joe Pugh, 18, were also seriously injured in the crash. Daniel suffered leg injuries and a collapsed lung, whilst Joe’s knees were shattered during in the accident.
A fifth passenger, Chanda Chauhan, 49, was also treated following the crash after sustaining internal injuries and a further eleven passengers suffered whiplash injuries.
Last summer wasn’t the first time that the theme park had experienced issues with the Smiler roller coaster; there had previously been two issues not long after the ride opened in 2013.
In July of that year, just two months after the ride’s launch, a bolt came loose from the ride, causing a gap in the track. As a result the Smiler was temporarily closed and 48 people had to be rescued. Then in November 2013, wheels detached from the roller coaster and struck several passengers in the front carriage of the ride.
Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, said in the immediate aftermath of the crash:
“Technically, it should be impossible for two cars to be on the same section of track at the same time”
“There are fail safe systems and break locks around tracks to make sure that only one car can be on a section of track at a time and clearly today that didn’t happen, and that is what we need to understand.”
“Reports that there were technical glitches on the ride this morning are ones that we have to look into, and at this moment in time I have no idea whether they were related to the final accident or not.”
Merlin accepted responsibility for the crash following an internal investigation, during which it emerged that the incident was caused due to ‘human error’. Staff – who could not see the stationary carriage on the track – overrode the ride’s safety measures, sending the carriage with passengers on a collision course with the empty carriage.
On 22 April 2016, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. at North Staffordshire Justice Centre, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
District judge John McGarva said the firm faces a “very large fine” when it appears at Stafford crown court next month. The judge also added that there is a possibility that the fine could reach seven figures.
The company’s guilty plea is believed to make Alton Towers the first major theme park in the UK whose owners have admitted a criminal breach of health and safety laws.
Health & Safety Executive
Neil Craig, head of operations for HSE in the Midlands said:
“We welcome the guilty plea entered by Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. Merlin has acknowledged that it failed in its legal duty to protect people on the Smiler ride.
“Those injured on 2 June last year had every right to expect a carefree and fun day out.
“The incident was profoundly distressing for everyone involved, both physically and mentally. It left some with life changing injuries.
“We hope this first milestone will help those affected to continue their recovery from this tragic incident.”
Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. is to appear at Stafford court on 20 May for sentencing.
Personal injury compensation – expert help
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Our dedicated team of personal injury solicitors offers a FREE no-obligation consultation. For further information about personal injury compensation claims, and to discover whether you have a claim, contact us today on 0800 888 6 888 or email email@example.com
If you would like further information about legal issues surrounding serious injury, contact us today via the details above for expert advice.
Whilst liability was not admitted, settlement was reached and this is an amazing result on behalf of our client who will now be able to invest in a property, receive the rehabilitation she needs and in her own words “get closure and move on with my life”.
Our client suffered from severe psychological injuries as well as very serious physical injuries. The physical injuries meant that she was no longer able to live in her home and needed assistance with moving to a ground floor flat. Her psychological injuries impacted on her ability to cope with the litigation process and adapt top her physical limitations brought about by the accident. She would also suffer severe panic attacks, leaving her often unable to leave the house. It is vital that people who have suffered from a life changing injury have the right team behind them who have experience in dealing with such injuries and can guide the client through the process and ensure that the right advice, medical treatment and experts are involved. We understand that not all your questions, concerns or worries will conveniently fit into the hours of 9-5. This is why all our Catastrophic / Serious injury clients are provided with their file handlers mobile number and email address so that you can contact us any time night or day.
Rehabilitation and support
As a firm, despite liability being disputed, we risk assessed the claim, and made the decision to provide financial support to our client through the purchase of two wheelchairs, rent contributions and rehabilitation. Our client found this financial support invaluable and it helped her on her road to recovery.
It has been a long, an often emotional process, but with the dedication and support of the Catastrophic Injuries Team and Hampson Hughes Solicitors overall, our client was able to find the strength to see the litigation through to the end and achieve settlement of her claim.
Although settlement has been reached we will continue to assist our client in terms of getting financial support, a case manager and obtaining the right rehabilitation. Our involvement does not end simply because we have obtained a settlement for our client as we understand that whilst the litigation process may be over there is still a lot more that our client needs.
Serious injury – expert advice and guidance
If you have suffered a serious injury in a non-fault accident, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to help you to access a tailored range of rehabilitation services as part of your claim. For further information on the types of rehabilitation and aftercare that may be available, please see ‘my rehabilitation’.
Speak to our dedicated team of serious injuries solicitors today – remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.