An industrial equipment supplier has been fined £86,666 after an 18 year on work experience was severely injured on his first day.
On 15th December 2014, Nathan Woolley commenced work experience for Radwell International, at their warehouse based on Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. At the time of the incident, a heavy electrical panel was being unloaded from the back of a lorry at the warehouse, which Mr Woolley was asked to steady. The panel fell, trapping Mr Woolley on the ground across the forks of the forklift truck.
Reports claim that Mr Woolley remained trapped under the panel until a crane could be used to free him. It is said that the panel weighed around 500kg. As a result of the incident, Mr Woolley suffered five compression fractures to his pelvis and a head injury. He spent 2 weeks in hospital and a further four months recuperating. He has since made a full recovery.
An investigation carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Radwell International had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, training, supervision and communication. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and received a fine of £86,666, with further costs of £12,143.
Following the hearing, Steve Shaw from the HSE said: “This case highlights the need for companies to have in place safe systems of work for all deliveries at their premises. Had such a system been in place, this teenager starting his working career need not have suffered the painful injuries he endured, and this company would not have been faced the judgment of the courts.”