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Timber company fined over trapped worker

Posted in: Faulty Work Equipment Hip Injuries Workplace Injuries 

Timber firm, Hunter Wilson Ltd, have been fined £44,000 after one of their workers became trapped in a log haul machine when cleaning. The Gretna-based company admitted to breaching numerous safety regulations and pleaded guilty in March 2011.

The injured worker was 28-year-old Steven Cairns who sustained serious injuries in the workplace incident, including a broken pelvis. It was heard at Dumfries Sherrif Court that no other workers actually witnessed the incident, but his screams were heard by workmates, who quickly rushed to his assistance. Mr Cairs was instantly airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he received treatment.

The firm admitted to their failings, saying that no measures had been taken to ensure the safety of staff when cleaning the log hauls parts. There were no features to prevent the movement of any dangerous parts of machinery before staff entered the areas of high-risk beneath the log haul parts.  The court heard that the firm, a branch of the Clifford Jones Timber group, had made major changes concerning the safety of their machinery, with solid safety measures introduced since the accident.

Health and Safety Stats 2012/13:

  • 148 people killed at work
  • 78,000 other injured employees were reported under RIDDOR
  • 1.1million people were suffering from a work-related illness (2011/12)
  • 27million working days were lost due to a work-related injury or illness (2011/12)
  • Workplace injuries and illnesses cost society around £13.8billion in 2010/11

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