Vehicle company fined after airbag fractures apprentice’s skull

A vehicle maintenance company has been fined after a worker suffered serious head injuries.

The court heard the apprentice along with an experienced mechanic was replacing air suspension bags beneath a 39,000kg trailer.

But the still under pressure bag ejected sideways and struck the apprentice fracturing his skull.

Failings

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the work had been unsafe as the employer had failed to:

  • assess risk
  • put in place a safe system of work
  • make sure employees were appropriately trained and monitored

Sentence

Central England Municipals Limited (trading as M6 Commercials) admitted breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £921.

The HSE said ‘If a suitable safe system of work has been in place prior to the incident the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented’.

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