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Fri September 20 2019

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Security guard loses fingers trying to help dozer driver uncouple trailer

11 Sep A groundworks company has been fined after a security guard was roped in to help out and ended up with a serious hand injury.

Photo courtesy of the HSE
Photo courtesy of the HSE

Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard how on 17th November 2017 at the site on Ableton Lane in Avonmouth, a plant operator employed by APK Earthmoving Limited asked a security guard working for a separate company to help remove a trailer from the bulldozer he was driving.

The security guard’s right hand was trapped between a metal post and the bulldozer, resulting in the amputation of the middle and ring fingers of his right hand and the loss of movement in his index finger.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that APK Earthmoving Limited had failed to conduct its undertaking, the hire of mobile plant and driver services, in such a way that people not in its employment were exposed to risks to their safety.

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APK Earthmoving Limited of Oxfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,297.00.

The injured security guard said: “I was off work for seven months and I still have a lot of pain in my hand.  As I am right-handed my injuries have affected my writing, and there are many tasks at work and at home that I need help with.  I tend to keep my hand in my pocket because I’m concerned it will affect people if they see my injuries.”

HSE inspector Berenice Ray said after the hearing: “This injury could have been easily prevented if a safe system of work had been followed, with the bulldozer ignition turned off before anyone was allowed close to remove the trailer. Employers should make sure they properly assess risks and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from their machinery operations.”

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