Health and Safety Consultancy Services for SMEs in Birmingham, West Midlands and beyond

Employee Lucky to be alive after falling on Spikes
Posted by David Cant on July 27, 2011
1 Comment

One employee suffered some serious injuries after he tried to load up a hopper grill. After climbing on top of the hopper grill he fell and was impaled on the spikes of the machine.  The spikes are what the machine uses to rip open the sacks which are placed into the machine.

During the accident Simon Lowe aged just 30 years old suffered some extremely painful injuries.  The spikes broke his pelvis and he was also left with a fractured spine.  Mr Lowe had internal bleeding and he lacerated the tendons in one of his thumbs.  A year has passed since his fall and he is still unable to return to work and is receiving treatment for his injuries.

Health and Safety Consultants Could Have Spotted the Dangers

An investigation showed that the firm that Mr Lowe worked for, Dupre Minerals Ltd, allowed their employees to be left alone without supervision and there were no controls in place to prevent their employees from climbing on to the hopper grill.

Once again this case highlights how important it is to make use of the health and safety services offered by companies such as Veritas Consultants. One way to prevent such awful accidents, which could easily have proved to be fatal, is by conducting in depth and adequate risk assessments.

The Firm Pleaded Guilty and Were Subsequently Fined for Their Failures

The company was taken to Fenton Magistrates Court where they pleaded guilty for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and they also pleaded guilty for not making suitable or sufficient assessments for the risks that the employees are exposed to at work, which is Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

The judge fined Dupre Minerals £8000 and the firm was also ordered to pay the costs which added up to £5236.  The health and safety inspector, Wayne Owen, spoke to the press after the court hearing.  He mentioned the fact that the company had not carried out a suitable risk assessment.  These are provided by health and safety consultants and there really is no excuse for not having an adequate assessment carried out.

Proper Training for Employees

In this case there employees had not been given the proper training which could have stopped the employees from climbing on the hopper grill. The Health and Safety Executives discovered that many of the employees had been operating in the same was as Mr Lowe for some time. If they were given training by health and safety consultantsthey would have been made aware of the dangers and a new method of operation could have been used.

Contact the Professionals

If you run a business you must make sure that you do everything possible to prevent accidents and injuries in your work place.  There are multiple health and safety services which include the process of risk assessments and many health and safety consultants also provide training. Call 0800 1488 677 to speak to Veritas about their available services.


Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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This post has been filed in: Workplace Health and Safety

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  1. […] the fact that the company had not carried out a suitable risk assessment.  These are provided by health and safety consultants and there really is no excuse for not having an adequate assessment carried […]

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