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A motor vehicle repair company has been fined £33,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000 after a young man gaining work experience was crushed to death by a vehicle.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard how in December 2014, 27 year-old Muhammed Zohaib Yasin was watching another employee carrying out repair work on a Vauxhall Corsa. He assisted the other employee by adding antifreeze to the engine of the vehicle while the other mechanic went to the side of the vehicle, lent in and turned on the ignition. Tragically this caused the vehicle to shoot forward, crushing the young man, who later died of his injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive found that there were no defects with the vehicle, but that it had been left in gear without the handbrake being applied. It was discovered that employees of Just Mercedes Ltd had not been given any specific instructions on selecting gears or the use of the handbrake when parking vehicles on or off the inspection ramps. No specific instructions had been given to employees when operating the ignition from outside of the vehicle, and there was no system in place for the storage of keys.

Inspector Lisa Bailey said of the incident: “Had the company ensured employees were trained and instructed on moving vehicles around the garage safely then this tragic incident may not have occurred.”

Just Mercedes Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work act 1974.

This case highlights the need for companies to carry out a thorough risk assessment of any situations where injuries or worse could occur. By looking at and identifying risks in the workplace, accidents like this one can be avoided.

If you have been injured at work and you feel that it could have been avoided if suitable risk assessment and management had been implemented, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their workforce; and identifying and avoiding potential hazards is a part of that responsibility. You can contact one of our highly experienced solicitors for a no-strings conversation; they have years of experience in dealing with this area of the law and so are best placed to advise you as to the best course of action. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the pay out you deserve.