Grzegorz Krzyzak, known as Greg, 32, sustained a double open fracture to his shinbone and multiple fractures to bones in his right foot in the incident at Parkers Nurseries, near Thorpe Le Soken, on 26 October 2011.
He subsequently underwent four operations on his right leg and foot to restructure and repair the bones and insert a number of pins. He also required a skin graft and it is unclear whether he will ever regain the full use of his leg, or whether he will carry a limp for life.
Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard on the 1st February 2013, that he was working with two other employees at Parkers Nurseries to remove and replace an old path in a greenhouse, and was driving an articulated dumper truck to remove some soil.
As he was tipping a load, the truck, which weighed approximately one tonne, overbalanced, fell on its side and trapped his right leg underneath.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the nursery had failed to provide adequate training for safely using the truck. The injured worker and one of his colleagues could not read much English, yet the instruction they received was in English, as was a manual for the dumper truck.
Parkers Nurseries Ltd , of Frinton Road, Thorpe Le Soken, Essex, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Julie Rayner said:
“Risks associated with the use of workplace transport equipment, dumper trucks in particular, should never be underestimated. Had the employees received proper training for the operation of the truck then this incident could have been prevented.
“Employers have a duty of care to ensure that drivers are suitably trained, that risks are properly assessed, and that adequate safety measures are in place. Parkers Nurseries failed to do so, and as a result a young man with his whole life ahead of him may now be left with a permanent disability.”