A Miraculous Escape

We often report tragic accidents where workers lose their lives at work.

In a recent case a worker was described to have miraculously cheated death when he was involved in an horrific accident at work.

The worker was looking into a machine to check a line when his clothing became caught on a conveyor belt, dragging him through a gap just 125mm wide, which is the size of a CD case.

He suffered terrible injuries, including two breaks in his back, a shattered pelvis and fractures of both hips, his right arm and several ribs. He also suffered serious internal injuries and has been left with permanent physical and psychological symptoms.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the machine was not adequately guarded and decided to prosecute two companies.

At the trial on 2 June 2011 the worker’s employer was found to have breached Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the company who supplied the machinery was found to have breached Section 6(1)(a). They have not yet been sentenced.

The HSE said after the hearing;

“It almost defies belief that Mr Lowe’s body could contort in such a way to fit through the opening it did, and it’s even more astonishing that he survived to tell the tale.

Granted he will never fully recover from the trauma he endured, but he could easily have been killed, and we could easily be commenting on another life needlessly lost because of basic safety failings.

Had appropriate guarding been in place the incident would never have occurred in the first place. We hope today’s prosecution serves as a firm reminder to all involved in manufacturing and processing of the need to properly restrict exposure and access to dangerous moving parts.”

The HSE also remind us that accidents such as this are one of the major causes of death and injury in the workplace.

Although the worker here escaped with his life he will always be affected by the accident, which could have been avoided had his employers complied with their health and safety obligations.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident at work, please contact Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP for advice on the above number or through the links on the website.