Newcastle firm fined over work experience injury

A Newcastle-based supplier of industrial equipment has been fined following a workplace accident in which a teenager on work experience was injured.

The young person was helping with the unloading of a heavy electrical panel from the back of a lorry while on work experience at Radwell International Limited in December of 2014. He had been asked to help steady the panel once it had been placed onto a pallet on the floor, but the panel slipped and fell, trapping him on the floor on top of the forklift truck forks. He suffered serious compression fractures of his pelvis as well as a head injury as a result of the accident.

Businesses who take on work experience people or apprentices need to ensure that they have a sufficient level of employers’ liability insurance to help cover them if they are prosecuted for an accident at work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the firm had not carried out suitable and sufficient risk assessment, training or supervision. Radwell International Limited, of Dalewood Road, Lymedale Business Park, Newcastle under Lyme, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Stafford Crown Court and was fined £86.666 plus costs of £12,143.

HSE inspector, Steve Shaw, said: “This case highlights the need for companies to have in place safe systems of work for all deliveries at their premises. Had such a system been in place, this teenager starting his working career need not have suffered the painful injuries he endured and this company would not have faced the judgement of the courts.”