Contractor fined £250,000 after worker loses arm

A contractor has been fined £250,000 and ordered to pay another £100,000 in costs after a self-employed worker on the site it was managing was severely injured by a disc cutter, leading to the amputation of his right arm.

Morgan Prosser, from Devon, was 31 at the time of the accident in 2017, which saw the disc cutter he was using kick back, severing an artery, muscle and a nerve.

He was working as a self-employed contractor at the Borough View Wainhomes development in Bodmin, which was being supervised and managed by MJL.

After a colleague damaged beams used for house foundations, Prosser’s managers suggested he cut them down and salvage them for another job. The HSE claimed the managers at MJL Contractors did this despite Prosser having no formal training on how to use a disc cutter, and without an adequate risk assessment or method statement.

MJL Contractors Limited of Hellys Court, Helston in Cornwall, was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It has been fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Georgina Symons said: “The contractor’s injuries have been life changing. This serious incident could have easily been avoided if basic safeguards had been put in place.”

Prosser’s injuries left him struggling to find work and has only recently managed to find employment as a part-time delivery driver. He has also started to paint murals and is helping with a number of art projects in his local community.

Following the conclusion of the trial at Truro Crown Court, Prosser said: “After the trauma of the incident I have spent four long years of rehabilitation trying to come to terms with my amputation, so I’m glad that MJL Contractors has been held accountable.

“I do not want this injury to define who I am. Alongside my community work, I’m hoping to retrain as a tattoo artist, provided I am able to get a suitable adaptation for my prosthetic arm.” 

Lisa Gunner, of Thompsons Solicitors – who is supporting Prosser with his claim – added: “I hope this prosecution will be a warning to MJL Contractors and any other employers that think they can play fast and loose with the safety of staff on their sites.”

Morgan Prosser now works on local arts projects
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