Plant hire company fined following fatal incident

A specialist plant hire company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The worker was undertaking maintenance on a piling rig when the accident happened.

In 2014, Ben Wylie was assisting the Ruislip Plant Ltd Director Mr Noel Kearney with the maintenance of a high-pressure grease track adjusting mechanism at a construction site in Maidenhead. During the process, someone forcibly ejected the grease nipple assembly and a stream of high-pressure grease from the mechanism. This struck Ben Wylie in the shoulder and chest causing fatal injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident. The investigation found that the components were forcibly ejected the day before and were damaged. Once they ejected the fitting, it should not have been refitted. Despite this, Mr Kearney attempted to modify and refit the grease nipple and adaptor to the high-pressure system. He then began to re-pressurise the tracks by pumping in grease using a hand operated grease gun. The pressure built in the system and at a critical point they then ejected the components. The plant should have done a pressure test with all suitable safeguards in these circumstances. However there was no safe system of work during this. It resulted in the modifications to the grease gun bringing Ben Wylie into the danger zone.

Ruislip Plant Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The plant hire company was fined £99,000 and had to pay costs of £116, 973.36.

Your Employer’s Responsibility in Accidents at Work

Your employer is responsible for keeping you safe at work. They must make sure that they meet the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999). The way they do this is by conducting risk assessments to ensure that everyone is kept safe. Employers must make sure that they do everything possible to avoid staff having accidents whilst at work.

If you are self-employed, you may still be able to claim. A lot of on-site workers often work on a contractor basis. This means that there is still a company that they are working for. If the business fails in their duty to keep you safe, then they may be responsible for your accident.

The Health and Safety Executive said the following about the accident. “This incident could have been avoided if Ruislip Plant Ltd had undertaken a risk assessment and devised a safe system of work.

“That failure to adhere to the correct procedure for pressure testing was directly causative of this incident. Ruislip Plant Limited put no control measures in place by Ruislip Plant Limited and that sadly led to the death of Ben Wylie.”

Plant Hire Company Fined: How We Can Help with Accidents at Work

Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with all manner of personal injury claims. This includes accidents at work. Contact us by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.