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Housing Trust fined after worker sustains life-changing injuries

New Charter Housing Trust has been fined £140,000 after a worker’s hand was struck by a ride-on mower’s blade and his thumb and forefinger had to be amputated.

The 24-year-old from Stockport also sustained several broken bones in the accident.

The worker was driving a ride-on mower with a grass box attached. When the chute to the grass box became blocked with long, wet grass – as often happens – the employee reached in to clear it. His hand came into contact with the rotating metal fan and was seriously injured. He is now unable to grip with his left hand or use his remaining fingers.

The worker had not received any training on how to use the mower and was not aware that the fan continued to turn for around 30 seconds after the engine had been switched off.

The Tameside housing trust, located in Ashton-under-Lyne, was found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act and fined £140,000. It must also pay £70,000 in prosecution costs.

This accident could, and should, have been avoided – a simple risk assessment followed by training would have made all the difference.

Risk assessments are often short on detail and don’t cover things like breakdown or simple maintenance tasks. In addition, training is regularly neglected and seen as time consuming and expensive.

We recommend you review your risk assessments regularly and keep on top of training.  Our website has example risk assessments for you to download for free and a range of training options, or, if you need more help, please call us on (01626) 355160.