Landscaping director sentenced after worker impaled on spike

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Former director of now-dissolved landscaping company R K United Ltd, Hafeez Ghafoor has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was impaled on a spike

Leeds Crown Court heard that on 25 August 2016, an employee of R K United Ltd was using a lorry loader crane to deliver a load of soil to a new house on Otley Road, in Leeds. As he brought the crane arm down, his left arm was impaled on a spike which was protruding from the control system. The impact caused several bones in his arm to be shattered.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered the crane had severe defects, including a disabled safety system, and part of the safety guard around the controls had been cut off, leaving the spike on which his arm was impaled. In addition, the worker had not received appropriate training to operate the lorry loader crane.

Hafeez Ghafoor of R K United Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.  Ghafoor was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Yolande Burns-Sleightholme, said: “This injury was easily preventable, and the risk should have been identified.

“The lorry loader crane should have been properly maintained, regular inspections carried out, and a thorough examination taken place every twelve months. The disabled safety system would have been found during the examination, ensuring that this incident could not have occurred.”

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