The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has made another successful prosecution after safety failings resulted in factory workers being injured.

The incident at carmaker Jaguar Land Rover resulted in a fine of £900,000.

The court heard a car was driven to the start of a production line. While this normally happened 48 times an hour, the driver lost control and collided with the rear of another vehicle causing a four car shunt. A worker crossing the production line was trapped between cars and lost a leg in the crush. Two others suffered minor injuries.

The company had identified the risk of collision and crushing and had some safety measures including a 5mph speed limit.

But the firm had not thought through the full extent of things going wrong. The judge said it “did not truly foresee what would happen if the driver hit the accelerator rather than the brake”.

Inadequate safety measures

An investigation by the HSE found the company had failed to make sure the driver who was covering the shift was familiar with procedures.

The firm also failed to properly separate production line workers from moving vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover has since put in place a “buffer zone” which the judge said should have already been there.

Sentence

The company contested the case but was found guilty after trial of breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

It was fined £900,000 and ordered to pay costs of £49,860.

The HSE said the incident was completely avoidable and that Jaguar Land Rover “knew the risks of driving vehicles onto production lines and the possibility of shunt accidents but failed to protect their workers”.

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