Essex tree contractor fined after "life-changing" injuries to worker

Oak View Tree Specialists of Rayleigh has been fined £3,000 after a dumper truck overturned, severely injuring its inexperienced 19-year-old driver.

Basildon Magistrates' Court heard last month how the man, an employee of the company, had only a few minutes training on the use of the dumper, had no driving licence and was not wearing a safety belt when he overturned the vehicle in September 2014.

He was airlifted to hospital where he was found to have broken his back. He spent months in hospital with injuries described as life-changing, and may never walk again.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 as it failed to ensure that its employees received adequate training for the purposes of health and safety. It was fined £3,000 with costs of £1,500.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Keith Waller said: "It is not acceptable to put drivers into vehicles that they have not previously operated, or without the necessary training by a qualified and competent instructor."

Transport-related incidents are the second biggest cause of workplace fatalities and major injuries, according to the HSE.

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