Vehicle accident news

Yorks firm fined for trainee trapped under bus

A Yorkshire transport company has been ordered to pay nearly £24,000 after it was proved health and safety failings contributed to a life-threatening bus accident involving a teenage trainee.

The 17-year-old needed restorative plastic surgery to his nose and eye socket after he was pinned under the vehicle at the company's Barnsley premises in September 2009.

Barnsley Magistrates' Court heard that the young apprentice was working alongside an experienced mechanic to correct a fault in a vehicle's air suspension system.

They attempted to carry out the repairs with the bus still on the garage floor, the court was told, rather than moving it over an inspection pit.

The trainee was making adjustments under the front passenger wheel when the air suspension failed suddenly. The bus dropped onto him, causing a serious head injury.

A work accident investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to take basic safety precautions for the good of its employees.

An HSE spokesman said the firm had fallen "well below a reasonable standard" for health and safety in the workplace.

"The risks involved when working on buses and coaches with air suspension systems are well known in the motor industry," he told reporters at the Yorkshire Post.

"There have been incidents in the past, including deaths, when air suspension systems have failed catastrophically while someone was underneath."

Bosses at the transport company pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The bus accident cost them a fine of £15,000 and court costs totaling £8,473.


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