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Former company director sentenced for safety breaches.

A former director of the now-dissolved landscaping and concrete company, RK United, has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered life-changing injuries in an incident in Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard that on 25 August 2016, a worker at RK United was using a lorry loader crane to deliver a load of soil to a new house in Otley Road.

As he brought the crane arm down, his left arm was impaled on a spike protruding from the control system. The impact caused several bones in his arm to be shattered.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the crane had severe defects, including a disabled safety system and part of the safety guard around the controls had been cut off, leaving the spike on which the man’s arm was impaled.

The worker had also not received appropriate training to operate the lorry loader crane and there was not a system to ensure that workers could “adequately plan, supervise and carry out safely, lifting operations using a lorry loader”.

The former director, Hafeez Ghafoor of Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Yolande Burns-Sleightholme said: “This injury was easily preventable, and the risk should have been identified.

“The lorry loader crane should have been properly maintained, regular inspections carried out, and a thorough examination taken place every twelve months.

“The disabled safety system would have been found during the examination, ensuring that this incident could not have occurred.”

RK United was dissolved in April 2017.