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A teenage factory worker whose former employers' negligence left him with two broken legs could now claim compensation for his personal injuries.
At the time of the accident the man was moving materials around the factory when a pallet, which per company policy, was being dragged along the floor; fell onto his legs. His legs were instantly broken and he was left trapped under the 1.5 tonne pallet until help could arrive.
The man, who was 18 years old at the time of the accident and wishes to remain anonymous, spent three days in hospital following the accident. He has since recovered and is now working at a different company.
THS Industrial Textiles, the man's former employers, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,994 in costs after pleading guilty to a health and safety breach at Halifax Magistrates Court.
The court had heard that THS Industrial Textiles had a dangerous pallet transport system for a prolonged period of time before the accident.
Workers were instructed to drag pallets along the floor, with some expected to drag double-stacked loads - something which contributed to the 18 year old's accident.
Additionally, the company's forklift truck was found not to have a valid lifting certificate at the time of the accident and was regularly being subjected to weights above and beyond what should have been allowed to be lifted by the machine.
One worker at the company, understood not to be the man injured in the pallet accident, had previously warned THS Industrial Textiles that the forklift was being overloaded, but his employers ignored this warning.
After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector David Welsh said: "THS Industrial Textiles was very poor at assessing and managing risks arising from this work, despite its dangers being well recognised within the industry."
"Unloading pallets appears to be a simple operation but it needs to be planned carefully, workers need the right equipment for each kind of unloading task, and the employer needs to actively supervise them."
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