A BUILDING firm has apologised for an incident that left a teenager seriously injured during work experience.

Tom Cutler got his leg trapped under a tractor after it overturned when he was driving.

The 16-year-old acted quickly and used his belt as a tourniquet to stem the bleeding before being found by passers-by who called for assistance.

He was then taken to hospital where he spent a month recovering.

At the time of the incident, Tom had been on paid work experience with Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Limited and was doing vehicle repair work at Folds Farm in the New Forest.

South West Farmer: Tom CutlerTom Cutler (Image: The Health and Safety Executive)

A spokesperson for the company told the Daily Echo: “We are very sorry that he suffered an injury, and we hope that he makes a full recovery.”

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire had “failed to adequately protect Tom through a failure of supervision, and by not providing adequate information, instruction, and training to him”.

The case was heard at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on October 16.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching a health and safety regulation and was ordered to pay a fine of £50,000 and costs of £9,223.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Nicola Pinckney said the incident could easily have been avoided.

She said there should have been a suitable risk assessment, instruction, and training to both Tom and those working with him.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards,” she added.