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Director of waste company convicted

Telehandler

Owner and director of Mike Took Ltd ordered to do unpaid work after employee critically injured

THE director of a waste-management company has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after an employee was critically injured.

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 18 April 2017, Justin Tinsley had only been employed by Mike Toon Ltd for a few weeks when he was trapped between a telehandler and a gate post at the company’s builders’ waste recycling and soil processing yard in Poole.

Mr Tinsley was struggling to manoeuvre the telehhandler which became stuck. With the engine running and the door blocked, he climbed out through the window to allow company owner and director Michael Toon to free the machine.

However, the machine moved unexpectedly and Mr Tinsley was crushed between it and a gate post. He was unconscious in hospital for several weeks and has never fully recovered from his crush injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Tinsley was being trained to drive a telehandler by Mr Toon. The investigation also found several serious long-term faults with the telehandler, including some relating to braking.

Michael Toon pleaded guilty breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, that being a director of Michael Toon Ltd he failed to discharge his duty under section 2(1), the offence being committed with his consent or connivance or being attributable to his neglect. He was given a 120 hours unpaid work community order and ordered to contribute to costs of £1,500.

HSE inspector Ian Smart said: ‘Michael Toon was well aware of the unsafe condition of the telehandler yet allowed it to be used by an inexperienced employee.

‘The HSE promotes safe-stop procedures where drivers should apply the parking brake and turn off the ignition before exiting any mobile machinery. Justin could not do this as the telehandler was in such poor mechanical condition.

‘The law requires mobile machinery to be in safe working order at all times. Maintenance is not optional. This accident could easily have been prevented.’

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