Workman seriously injured in Rother Valley Park horror

A YORK engineering firm has been fined £30,000 over an horrific accident at Rother Valley Country Park in which a workman was seriously injured.

The 58-year-old Leeds man was one of a team refurbishing a collapsed culvert at the park last August when he was felled by a seven-metre sheet pile.

Sheffield Crown Court head that the sheet pile had come off a hook on an excavator as it was being lowered because a vital safety catch had been missing.

It fell and hit the workman on the side and sending him spinning to the ground.

He suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull and pelvis, several snapped ribs and a punctured lung. Both thigh bones were broken and had to be repaired with steel pins.

He also sustained fractures to his jaw, cheekbone and left foot. He still needs physiotherapy and rehabilitation to help him walk again.

His employers, Coopers Civil Engineering, of Main Gate, Knapton, York, were prosecuted by the |Health and Safety Executive.

The firm was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £6,500 costs for a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Medani Close said: "This employee suffered life-changing injuries because his employer failed to devise a safe system of work for lifting out the sheet piles.

“The lift should never have been attempted using a hook with a missing safety catch.

"Lifting operations can often put workers at great risk of injury, as well as incurring great costs when they go wrong. It is therefore important to properly resource, plan and organise lifting work to ensure it is carried out safely."

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