A worker at a concrete firm suffered a serious leg injury when he was struck by a fork lift truck in a work accident.
Tomasz Kosmacz was working at Elite Precast Concrete Ltd when the accident happened in July 2011. His job involved removing excess concrete from moulds that were being filled at the firm’s factory in Telford.
He placed the removed concrete in a bucket, before placing this bucket onto the forks of a fork lift truck. This meant that he had to work extremely close to the fork lift and was accidentally struck by the vehicle as he worked.
Mr Kosmacz suffered a serious leg injury in the collision. His foot was broken in several places and he suffered damage to his knee. The injury to his foot has required two operations to treat and metal screws have been placed in his ankle.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation into the accident found that there were written instructions at the factory for performing the work safely. These instructions stated that the buckets of concrete needed to be placed onto a pallet and not directly onto the forks. This method eradicates the need to work in close proximity to the trucks.
However, Mr Kosmacz – a migrant worker from Poland – spoke little English. The safe method of working had not been translated into Polish or adequately communicated to Polish workers, despite the company’s reliance on migrant labour. It was noted by the HSE that Mr Kosmacz had been allowed to work in this dangerous manner for weeks before the accident happened.
At Telford Magistrates’ Court last week the company were fined £10,000 for breaking health and safety law in regards to the accident.