Worker was blown into air in accident at car servicing company

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A Bedford car servicing and repair company has been fined a total of £6,700 after breaching health and safety requirements which led to an employee suffering serious injuries at work.

Automotive Services (Bedford) Ltd were taken to court by Bedford Borough Council following the incident where a car tyre split during inflation.

Officers from environmental health at the borough council launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident owing to the severity of the incident.

During the investigation, officers discovered that the employee of Automotive Services was blown more than two metres into the air after a car tyre split during inflation.

The employee required hospital treatment and surgery after both ankles were fractured in the incident.

Concluding the investigation, the environmental health officers deemed that the company did not have a safe process in place for inflating vehicle tyres and was not following standard industry practices.

Officers also found that there was inadequate training, instruction and supervision of employees regarding the procedure.

Following a trial at Luton Magistrates’ Court on December 16, Automotive Services pleaded guilty and were found to have breached section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £6,700 and ordered to pay legal costs of £10,385, awarded to Bedford Borough Council.

Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services said, “Due to the serious disregard for health and safety in the workplace the wellbeing of an employee was put at risk, causing injuries to be sustained. This accident was entirely avoidable had the appropriate safe systems of work, training and management been implemented within the workplace.”

In a statement, Automotive Services said: “The company takes the welfare of its employees extremely seriously and has had a good health and safety record with no incidents before or since the accident in May 2013.

“Automotive Services Ltd co-operated fully with the council’s investigation and immediately after the accident employed an external consultant to review all their working practices and health and safety procedures and any recommendations have been implemented in full.”