A Black Country construction company has been fined £185,000 after a worker suffered life-threatening injuries when he was run over by a reversing truck.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Carillion JM following the incident at the Kingsway Business Park in Rochdale on 11 November 2008. A Ford Transit truck was reversing on the construction site when it hit Michael Gresty.
Carillion JM Ltd, of Birch Street in Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to three health and safety offences at Manchester Crown Court on 12 February 2010. The company, which is part of the multinational Carillion plc group, was ordered to pay £9,821 towards the cost of the prosecution in addition to the fine.
Mr Gresty was helping to build a new track around a large pond at the business park when he was run over by the truck. The 56-year-old was in hospital for four weeks following the incident and is unlikely to ever return to work due to the extent of his injuries.
He lost his left kidney, broke seven ribs, left shoulder and right foot, fractured his spine, dislocated his right hip and required a pin through his right knee. He has lost one inch in height, has four needles in his spine and still suffers constant pain in his back and ribs more than a year later.
The court heard that no one was responsible for guiding the truck, which was regularly reversing up to 400 metres to drop off construction materials for the project. A pedestrian walkway to separate vehicles from pedestrians had also not been marked on the track.
Carillion pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of workers. It also admitted breaching Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 by failing to carry out a suitable risk assessment.
HSE Inspector Neil Martin said: “Michael Gresty is lucky to be alive following this very serious incident and he will never fully recover. His injuries could easily have been prevented if Carillion had followed basic health and safety procedures.
“It is not acceptable that a construction company, which employs 50,000 people around the world, did not carry out the right risk assessment or put a system in place for preventing collisions.
“It would have been simple to mark out a basic pedestrian walkway, using cones and tape, and have someone responsible for guiding reversing vehicles. If Carillion had done this, Michael Gresty would not have suffered agonising injuries.
“I hope this case demonstrates to all companies how important it is to separate pedestrians from vehicles on construction sites.”