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Outdoor advertising giant prosecuted for safety failings following serious injury in Bristol

28-08-2012

Outdoor advertising company Clear Channel UK Ltd. has been fined after an employee's hand was caught in a petrol-powered lawn mower in Bristol.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Bristol Magistrates Court heard that the maintenance worker was working at a billboard site on Bath Road on 22 August last year when the incident happened.

The worker, from Gloucestershire, sustained serious injuries to his left hand when he tried to clear a blockage from the petrol-powered mower, which he believed had been turned off.

While trying to remove the blockage the blade began rotating, almost severing his thumb and severely injuring his fingers. A 14-hour surgical procedure was required to re-attach his thumb and repair the damaged fingers.

The court was told that a safety feature that cuts out the engine and stops the blades rotating wasn't working properly.

An HSE investigation revealed that Clear Channel UK Ltd. did not have an effective reporting and maintenance system regarding faults on its equipment, and allowed a lawn mower that wasn't in efficient working order or good repair to be used by its employees.

Clear Channel UK Ltd. pleaded guilty to breaching Section 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £12,700 and ordered to pay costs of £13,000.

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