Director guilty over staff injury

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A Barnsley man whose shoddy safety systems at work led to an employee suffering life-changing leg injuries has been convicted of offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Howard Charles Whitehead, aged 68, the ‘shadow director’ of Wheaton Truck and Trailer Sales Ltd was given a six-month suspended jail sentence, a curfew, an unpaid work order, banned from being a company director for 10 years and ordered to pay compensation of £5,000 to the injured employee, after he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court.

Whitehead, of Richard Road, Darton, had admitted acting as a shadow director and failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees, contrary to Sections 2, 33 and 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, at an earlier hearing at Barnsley Magistrates court.

The prosecution came after an accident in January 2013 in the premises yard at Claycliffe Road, Barugh Green, when employee Paul Blackwell suffered serious leg injuries while operating a 10-tonne forklift truck. It took two hours to free him.