A 16-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after becoming trapped under a tractor while on paid work experience.
Tom Cutler was gaining experience of vehicle repair work at Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Limited, Folds Farm, in the New Forest, ahead of hopefully starting a vehicle maintenance course at Sparsholt College.
On August 3rd, 2021, the teenager from the New Forest was driving a tractor down an incline when it came off the track and overturned. He was alone and the tractor did not have a seat belt fitted. Tom was thrown out of his seat and his upper leg was trapped under the roof of the tractor, fortunately he was found in time by passers-by who were able to call for assistance. Emergency services attended and he was taken to hospital for treatment.
Tom's dad, David Cutler, said: "Tom was only 16 when this incident happened, and it's changed his life forever. Had it not been for his own bravery and the amazing work by the emergency services we could have lost him.
"Tom acted quickly and used his belt as a tourniquet to stem bleeding; he punched out the cab window to check his leg and managed to break off a wing mirror to enable him to turn off the tractor and prevent a fire from fuel that was escaping.
"He spent a month in hospital and has undergone seven different operations but can't do the things he used to do. He was a keen mountain biker and cricket player but that has all stopped.
"He doesn't sleep properly and is more anxious; he had to put his education on hold for a year and we as a whole family have found it extremely tough."
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Earlcoate Construction and Plant Hire Limited, had failed to adequately protect Tom through a failure of supervision, and by not providing adequate information, instruction, and training to him.
At Southampton Magistrates' Court on 16th October, Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Limited of Folds Farm, Fordingbridge, New Forest pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974. The company was ordered to pay a fine of £50,000 and costs of £9,223.