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Lack of Training Causes Serious Accident at Work

On 26 September 2014, an employee of Oak View Tree Specialists Limited was left with life-changing injuries after he overturned a dumper truck.

The 19-year-old man had to be airlifted to hospital where he remained for months due to his injuries. He broke his back in the accident at work and doesn’t know if he will be able to walk again.

Why Did the Dumper Truck Overturn?

The truck overturned because of driver, who was the same employee left with terrible injuries was very inexperienced. He did not hold a driving licence and wasn’t using the safety belt.

Was it His Fault?

No. The serious injury was not the employee’s fault because he should have been provided with proper training. The law says that employers must provide the right information, instruction, training and supervision in order to ensure that risks are managed and staff health and safety is kept intact. By only providing their employee with a few minutes of training using a dumper truck, the tree specialist company was breaking the laws set out in The Health and Safety at Work Act from 1974.

Oak View Tree Specialists Limited should have provided their employee with adequate training. It is clear that, in this case, the demands of the job exceeded the 19-year-old worker’s ability to carry out the work without risk to himself and others working around him. By making holding a driving licence part of the job requirement before hiring, the company would have avoided putting the inexperienced man in such a vulnerable position in a vehicle he had never previously operated.

Who Needs Training?

Employers must provide all their staff with adequate training. This includes full-time, part-time and contractors. Self-employed people should ensure they are up to date with how to identify and deal with risks at their work too.

In this case, the employee was in particular need of training due to his relative inexperience. Young employees require adequate supervision and should take training as a priority because they are vulnerable to accidents. Other people who have urgent need for training include:

• New Recruits: They will need induction training and to be informed about procedures for evacuation, first aid and fire.

• Workers Changing Roles: They need to know what health and safety risks the new role poses. This also applies to workers who are taking on extra responsibilities within their role.

• People Who Have Not Received Training Recently: They should welcome refresher training as it will update their skills and demonstrate continuous professional development.

Matthew Tomlinson is a Senior Personal Injury Lawyer specialising in work accident compensation claims for Slater and Gordon Lawyers.

If you have sustained a serious injury in an accident at work, call our No Win No Fee Personal Injury Lawyers 24 hours 7 days a week on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you back.


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