Jaguar Land Rover Ltd has been fined for safety breaches after an employee sustained horrific crush injuries when he was dragged into inadequately guarded machinery.
The 57-year-old maintenance electrician suffered life-threatening injuries which included two punctured lungs, ten broken ribs, a broken breastbone, two broken vertebrae and two breaks in his right hand.
After he was placed in an induced coma for 12 days with blood clots on his heart and kidneys, the injured man remained in hospital for a further seven days. Amazingly he was back at work within just 17 weeks.
A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that following a series of production line stoppages, the worker had approached a gap in the perimeter guard that surrounded some vehicle lifting machinery.
As he watched the machinery in operation he was struck by a vehicle chassis that was revolving on a circulatory chain conveyor. The chassis knocked him to the ground and dragged him through the perimeter gap into a restricted processing area where he was severely crushed.
Following the incident, the gap remained unguarded until HSE enforcement required that further protective measures be provided. Jaguar Land Rover then introduced a key exchange access system and secured the work area with fixed perimeter guards.
Jaguar Land Rover Ltd, of Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry, was fined £40,000 with £13,474 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.
Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Solicitor Matthew Tomlinson said the crush injury accident, which occurred in the paint shop at the company’s Lode Lane site in Solihull in June 2013, was entirely preventable.
Jaguar Land Rover has extensive safety systems in place and it is very surprising that in this case the company failed to ensure the same level of protection it is normally known for.
The injured worker was incredibly lucky he wasn’t killed or maimed for life and it is truly remarkable that he recovered sufficiently to return to work within just 17 weeks.
He should never have been allowed so close to dangerous moving parts within the production process. The fact that the gap he was forcibly dragged through was large enough for him to be exposed to such danger shows that this was an accident waiting to happen.
Matthew Tomlinson is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
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