Tyre company fined after worker is crushed by wheel

An Angus company has been fined for serious safety failings after a worker suffered severe crush injuries when a tractor wheel fell on him.

Michael Davidson, of Arbroath, 28, was trying to protect another worker when the incident happened on November 12, 2012 at a farm near Carnoustie.

Arbroath Sheriff Court heard today (April 15) that Mr Davidson, an employee of Angus Tyres Ltd, was working alone to replace all four wheels on the tractor. He had just removed the wheel nuts of the rear left wheel when he became aware of a farm worker working closely behind with his back to him.

Mr Davidson glanced over his shoulder concerned that the man was too close and that he could be injured if the wheel fell on him. As Mr Davidson looked back the wheel was coming off the studs but he was unable to steady it and it started to fall towards him.

He managed to prevent it hitting the farm worker but the falling wheel knocked Mr Davidson to the floor and landed on his left side. He was taken to hospital with a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, a broken leg and broken collarbones, the latter needing two operations.

Mr Davidson was off work for seven months but has since returned to full duties.An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed various failures in the company’s management of health and safety.

There was no safe system of work in place for changing tractor wheels and no training had been given to employees to enable them to carry out the task safely. Employees were left to change wheels alone with no consideration for the considerable weights being handled by a single person.

Angus Tyres Ltd, of Hill Place, Arbroath, was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.