A DEMOLITION worker was left with devastating injuries when he was struck on the head by a metal girder.
Gareth Dodds suffered fractured vertebrae and head injuries when he was hit by the 20-metre steel beam, which was being moved by a hydraulic excavator.
Now his employer, James Hudson Demolition Ltd of Northowram, Halifax, has been ordered to pay £27,500 in fines and costs after admitting to health and safety breaches.
Doncaster Crown Court heard Mr Dodds, then 28, was working at the former All Saints School in Rossington, South Yorkshire, when the accident happened in November 2008.
The South Shields man and three colleagues were working close to the hydraulic excavators but there were no safeguards to keep them a safe distance from the machines and their loads.
After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Rob Cooper said: “This appalling incident could have very easily been avoided had proper thought and planning been put in place.
“Because of this lack of care, Mr Dodds was unwittingly in an area he should not have been in.
“Sadly he suffered terrible injuries as a result, but he could have lost his life.”