A lorry driver delivering timber to a County Durham engineering company suffered serious personal injury, when a steel pole smashed through his windscreen and stuck in his chest.
Forty two year old Jason Ripley, from Darlington was delivering to the Henry Williams Group Limited, at their premises in Dodsworth Street but as he drove to the unloading point, a horizontal swing barrier consisting of a six metre long metal pole, smashed through his windscreen and penetrated the right side of his chest.
After being cut free by the emergency services, Mr. Ripley had to be airlifted to hospital with part of the steel pole still embedded in his chest.
The pole smashed three of his ribs and caused damage to a lung as it penetrated the front of his chest and left almost a four inch wound as it emerged from his back.
Miraculously the delivery driver made a full recovery from his terrifying ordeal and was back behind the wheel, just ten weeks after his accident at work.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the company had failed to carry out a proper risk assessment, of vehicles entering and leaving the site and it was not possible to secure the swing barrier in its open position.
Henry Williams Group Limited, of Dodsworth Street, in Darlington, was fined £8,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, following a successful prosecution by the HSE at Darlington Magistrates’ Court.