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Colnbrook haulage firm made to pay £25k after employee suffers severe injuries

A haulage firm from Colnbrook who crushed a young employee with an HGV has been forced to pay £25,000 following a prosecution led by Slough Borough Council (SBC).

In January 2015, the employee, who was  just 17 years old at the time, was in the yard of Holmes of Heathrow Ltd, when a reversing HGV crushed him against the gate and office building.

The incident caused severe injuries to the young man’s mouth, face and shoulders, which required hospitalisation in intensive care for a number of days and reconstructive surgery.

At a hearing at Reading Crown Court in December Holmes of Heathrow Ltd, pleaded guilty to offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The four counts included failing to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure employer’s heath safety and welfare and failing to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

The company also failed to ensure the employee was given adequate health and safety training and failing to provide him enough supervision.

The court fined Holmes of Heathrow Ltd £14,000 and ordered it to pay the council costs of £11,000.

Cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection Cllr Pavitar K Mann said: “Through no fault of his own this poor lad ended up with horrible injuries from a very traumatic experience.

“No company, in particular one with movements of large vehicles in a restricted space, should be cavalier in their attitudes to the safety of their employees.

“Unfortunately in this case, it was only this life-changing incident that shed light on Holmes lack of care and I hope this prosecution and fine serves as a deterrent to other companies who have employee safety low on their list of priorities.”

She added: “We will continue to take action against companies that flagrantly put employees at risk.”

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