Jaguar Land Rover Fined £900k After Crushed Worker Loses Leg

Jaguar Land Rover Fined £900k

Jaguar Land Rover has been fined £900,000 after a worker lost his leg in an accident at the Solihull plant.

Victim Mark Widnall suffered serious injuries and lost a leg as a result of the incident. Birmingham crown court heard that Mr Widnall was crushed between two vehicles at JLR’s Lode Lane plant in Solihull, West Midlands, in February 2015, resulting in the subsequent loss of his right leg.

The incident occurred when a Range Rover Sport vehicle was driven up to the production line, the driver of the RRS lost control of the vehicle and smashed it into the back of another vehicle, causing a four-car shunt. Mr Widnall got trapped between the second and third cars. Two other employees suffered minor injuries during the incident.

The HSE said its investigation “found that the company had failed to ensure that the driver of the Range Rover, who was covering the shift, was familiar with procedures”.

The car giant was ordered to pay £49,864 costs after a jury at Birmingham Crown Court convicted it of breaching health and safety regulations.

In passing sentence Judge Phillip Parker QC said: “On February 8 2015 Mark Widnall was seriously injured on the PVQ line.

“He was standing between two cars and was perfectly entitled to be there.

Jurors at the trial were told that JLR had since introduced a buffer zone designed to prevent the risk of a similar accident from occurring.

John Glynn, an HSE inspector, said: “A worker has been left with life-changing injuries that were completely avoidable. It was only good fortune that prevented this from being a fatal accident.”

The HSE said its investigation “found that the company had failed to ensure that the driver of the Range Rover, who was covering the shift, was familiar with procedures”.

JLR, which contested the case but was found guilty after a trial, said its thoughts remained with the injured worker, who it said had suffered life-changing injuries through no fault of his own.

Judge Parker said: “The case centered upon the dangers encountered when vehicles are moved by drivers on to the line while associates are working close to that moving vehicle.

“Ironically, bearing in mind there was a trial, the defendant company had identified the risk of crushing and collision.”

He acknowledge that Jaguar Land Rover had taken some safety measures including an enforced speed limit of 5mph, however he went on to say,

“Although they had identified the risk they had not thought through the extent of what would happen if something went wrong.

“They did not truly foresee what would happen if the driver hit the accelerator rather than the brake.”

The court also heard that Jaguar Land Rover had two previous convictions for breaching health and safety regulations.

The company said in a defense statement: “Jaguar Land Rover is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all employees, and strives to continuously improve working conditions. We accept the decision and continue to work closely with the HSE to ensure that all reasonably practicable measures are in place to protect our employees.”

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