A 50-year-old employee was manually sorting demolition waste in a recycling yard when a 13.5-tonne tracked excavator hit the back of his left leg as he bent down to pick up some waste from the ground

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how the incident on 11th February 2019 at the William Leeson yard in Walkden, Greater Manchester left the victim with life changing injuries. He has been unable to return to work and struggles with daily activities; he is now waiting for an operation to amputate his left leg below the knee.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that William Leeson (trading as W Leeson & Son) had no safe system of work in place to effectively segregate pedestrians and vehicles, thereby ensuring the pedestrian pickers were always a safe distance from the moving vehicles.

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William Leeson (t/a W Leeson & Son) of Sale pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Mr Leeson was sentenced to 17 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £9,000.

HSE inspector Jackie Worrall said after the hearing: “This injury could have easily been prevented had Mr Leeson ensured that effective segregation of pedestrians and vehicles was in place. This case is a reminder to all employers to properly assess the risks arising from workplace transport and to put in place effective control measures to minimise these risks. Most importantly, where vehicles and pedestrians operate within the same workspace it is essential that there is effective segregation at all times.”

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