14 December 2012
Family to seek compensation after fatal accident?
Compensation could be sought by a family after a fatal accident at work cost a loved one his life.
George Stokes died at the age of 48 while operating defective machinery at Tong Norton Farm in Shifnal, Shropshire, in May 2009 and, as such, his family may be eligible to claim for damages on his behalf.
Mr Stokes sustained fatal head injuries when he was struck by the rotating arms of a bale wrapping machine while he prepared the equipment for use in the grass cutting season and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the incident and established that multinational farm equipment manufacturing firm McHale Engineering had supplied the defective machine in 2001.
It was found that the machine's safety trip bar had not been programmed correctly, meaning it was not able to stop the moving bale arms quickly enough when activated.
As such, anyone who pressed the safety function was still in danger of being hit and Mr Stokes was struck when the equipment started to rotate unexpectedly.
During a case heard at Shrewsbury Crown Court, McHale Engineering - which sells its products in regions across the world, such as Scandinavia and Australasia - admitted breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay a fine of £45,000 for its negligence.
David Kivlin, inspector at the HSE, labelled the incident a "tragedy" and insisted it could have been prevented had the company made sure the machine could be stopped in a safe manner.
"Manufacturers of farm equipment should ensure that they design such equipment so that safety risks are reduced as far as possible for anyone who enters the danger zone of the rotating arms," he added.
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Posted by Trusha Vyas