AN OXFORDSHIRE firm has gone on trial accused of health and safety failings after an employee was struck by a five-tonne piece of machinery.

Stoneworld Oxfordshire and G J Harris Engineering Services both deny one count of a failure to discharge a duty in relation to health and safety regulations.

Prosecutors at Oxford Crown Court claim that this failure led to one Stoneworld employee being injured by a toppling Pellegrini wire cut saw.

READ ALSO: Video shows man trashing Cowley Betfred shop.

Outlining the case to a jury of six men and six women today prosecutor Shauna Ritchie said Stoneworld had purchased and wanted to install the five-tonne device at its Great Milton site.

The company - which create various interior & exterior stone-made works - contracted another firm G J Harris Engineering Services to install the equipment.

On November 9 2016, she told jurors, while the machinery was being installed, an employee of Stoneworld - Andrew Caffyn - was walking by on his lunch break.

As he did so and while contractor Gerald Harris worked on the large equipment, the jury was told, it began to topple, before striking Mr Caffyn.

READ ALSO: Man on flight from coronavirus-hit Wuhan is in Oxford.

She said that as a result the employee suffered a broken left arm requiring an operation, as well as a broken knee and broken wrist and he needed stitching to his left eye.

Prosecutors described the machinery as weighing five tonnes and being 'very large', and had been bought second hand from another company.

Recalling the incident from the witness box Mr Caffyn said he had been an employee working with stone for two years before the accident.

He told jurors he took an early lunch break about midday and walked by the machinery to use the toilet.

On his return and while walking towards a company staff room he again walked near to it and saw Gerald Harris working on the equipment.

READ ALSO: Safer for cyclists - new £210,000 Worcester Street junction.

He said he exchanged 'polite' pleasantries and continued walking when he heard shouting.

He went on: "I carried on walking and the next thing I knew Mr Harris shouted and through instinct I stopped and turned around and then the machine hit me."

He said he was not pinned and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Prosecutors said that the risks involved in the installation of the machinery were 'significant and foreseeable.'

Ms Ritchie told jurors that the incident was 'entirely avoidable.'

She added: "The prosecution say that Stoneworld failed to provide a safe system of work."

She told jurors that this included failing to instruct its employees to avoid the area of the wire saw.

She said: "It is for Stoneworld to prove that it did all that was reasonably practicable to prevent that risk from coming about."

Both firms deny the charge and the trial - set to last one week - continues.