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Plant Hire Firm Fined After Defective Dumper Truck Injures Worker

A plant hire company has been prosecuted after a dumper truck it hired out with a broken parking brake injured a worker when it rolled forward.

The Leicestershire-based tool and plant hire company hired out the dumper truck and an excavator to a farmer in Derbyshire.

Whilst loading the hired dumper with the excavator, the farmer and a colleague noticed the truck rolling forward on the slope it was parked on.

When the farmer’s colleague ran after the truck and tried climbing in to apply the footbrake, the steering column struck the excavator shovel and pinned his leg against the driver’s seat.

Derby Magistrates’ Court heard that the 50 year-old man broke his leg and suffered a wound to his shin requiring a skin graft. He also suffered a blood clot and was unable to work for several months.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) work accident investigation revealed that JB Tool Hire Ltd had checked both vehicles before hiring them out but had failed to identify that the dumper truck’s parking brake was faulty. A simple brake replacement cable rectified the problem. 

The firm was fined £14,000 with £8,199 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Hiring out a heavy vehicle such as a dumper truck with a faulty parking brake is clearly a recipe for disaster and it is very fortunate that the farmer’s colleague was not more seriously injured.

This accident could so easily have been prevented. The faults with the parking brake should have been identified well before the vehicle was hired out. Had the relevant checks been carried out and the brake cable replaced, this man’s injuries and his subsequent loss of income could have been avoided.

Failure to carry out effective pre-and post-hire maintenance checks on equipment and in particular heavy plant hire vehicles can obviously lead to disastrous consequences. Plant hire companies need to ensure their vehicles are always supplied in a safe and reliable condition to eliminate any risks to those who use them.

Matthew Tomlinson is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor who specialises in work accident compensation claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

If you have been injured in an accident at work through no fault of your own contact Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 916 9046 or alternatively contact us online and we will call you back.

Slater and Gordon are one of the largest Personal Injury Law Firms in the UK with over 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.

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