Firm fined after crush accident

IPSWICH firm Faradene Limited has been fined after admitting its neglect which left a worker nearly crushed to death.Labourer Sean Fowler spent six months in hospital battling for his life after the incident in June last year at the dockside firm.

IPSWICH firm Faradene Limited has been fined after admitting its neglect which left a worker nearly crushed to death.

Labourer Sean Fowler spent six months in hospital battling for his life after the incident in June last year at the dockside firm.

Mr Fowler, 30, suffered massive injuries after a huge industrial excavator swung round and crushed him against a wall, South East Suffolk Magistrates heard.

Now company boss Max Kane has been hit with a near £13,000 bill for failing to protect his employees.


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And he could face having to fork out more cash in a compensation claim launched by Mr Fowler.

After the case, health and safety inspector David Gregory said Mr Fowler had had a lucky escape from what was "an accident waiting to happen."

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He said: "There have been fatal accidents involving excavating machines and Mr Fowler was lucky to survive.

"Companies using this type of machinery must put in place a safe system of work and take measures to avoid trapping points."

Mr Gregory, prosecuting on behalf of Health and Safety, said Mr Fowler was carrying out cleaning duties when the machinery swung round, crushing him.

He said the serious injuries suffered by the labourer had stopped him working since.

Roger Stewart, mitigating, said Mr Fowler should not have been near the machine while it was operating.

He said repeated visits from the Environment Agency failed to highlight any problems.

The firm now has a new system in place with fixed barriers and lockable gates to ensure safety. A safety watchdog has also been appointed.

"My client doesn't deny it was a tragic incident involving a man who got knocked down and crushed and suffered severe injury," said Mr Stewart.

But added: "The company was mystified as to why Mr Fowler was where he was at the time of the accident."

Magistrates fined Kane £7,000 for failing to ensure the safety of employees and £2,000 for failing to employ a competent person to help him comply with safety regulations.

In addition to the fines, bench chairwoman Sandra Bryant ordered Mr Kane to pay £3,734.04 costs.

The company employs around 30 people.

Mr Kane declined to comment after the case.

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