Builders' Merchants News

Permanent injury from telehandler

Published:  26 January, 2011

NOTTINGHAM: A man has suffered permanent leg injuries when falling under a telehandler.


John Handley, a partner in J&C Handley, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at a housing construction site at Slalom Run, off Valley Road, Carlton, on 2 July 2009.

Nottingham magistrates were told that when a consignment of breeze blocks were delivered to site they were not packaged in such a way that a telehandler with forks could pick them up.

The breeze blocks needed to be transported from one part of the site to another. Mr Handley used a telehandler with a hydraulic grabber attachment but this meant the blocks were swaying as they were being transported. He then asked sub-contractor David Cotterill to walk alongside the vehicle and steady the load with his hands.

Unfortunately Mr Cotterill, 31, of Gedling, slipped and fell under the front wheel of the telehandler. He broke his right foot, ankle and leg and has been off work ever since.

Due to the nature of his injuries he will not be able to work in construction again and is now retraining for an alternative career. His injuries have also forced him to move from his three-storey house to one with less stairs.

HSE Inspector Lee Greatorex said: "In an ideal world the breeze blocks should have been delivered to their intended destination on the site but this wasn't possible. Therefore Mr Handley should have properly planned the work and made sure the delivery arrived in the right format for the forks of a telehandler.

"When this didn't happen, a rope should have been attached to enable Mr Cotterill to steady the load at a safe distance.

"Had Mr Handley taken the time to think through a safe system of work then a man may not have suffered such serious injuries."

Today, John Handley, of St Eia, Friday Lane, Gedling, Nottingham, admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of persons not in his employment. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.