Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

No Excuses for Falls from Height
Posted by David Cant on June 29, 2012

A manufacturing company have been fined for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulation 5(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.  The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the Derbyshire firm Storetec Limited, and one of their directors after an incident at Sawpit Lane Industrial Estate in 2009.

Two Teenagers Working on a Makeshift Platform

Two young workers had been sent to the depot from an agency after being hired to help move scrapped trolleys into a skip  The 18 years olds were working on a lifting platform which has been by Brian Crossan who is one of the directors of the firm. The director had designed the platform to fit a forklift truck on top so the workers could use it in their duties. Unfortunately the makeshift platform got caught on the way down causing the platform and the two young men to fall over four metres.

The following investigation showed that the director had not followed any guidelines or standards when he designed the lifting platform. The fork extensions didn’t fit the platform and there weren’t any chains which would have secured the truck onto the platform. Furthermore the platform had one edge which was open.

Fall has Changed their Lives Forever

Both of the 18 year olds were lucky not to have been killed in the incident. The men who asked to remain anonymous have been left with physical injuries which have changed their lives as well as psychological damage. One of the men had planned to join his father in the asphalt industry; unfortunately this will not happen as the work is too demanding for his physical capabilities.

The company should have evaluated and assessed the work and decided if a platform was really necessary.  If the assessment had indicated that the platform was needed the company should have followed the law designed to avoid accidents like this.  Health and safety consultants could have been approached if the company directors were unsure of the action they needed to take.

Storetec pleaded guilty for failing to meet their duty to their employers by ensuring they were not exposed to health and safety risks, as stated in Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety Act.  They were fined £22,000 and ordered to pay £12, 134 in court costs plus an additional payment of £15 victim surcharge by Derby Crown Court.  The director Mr Crossan pleaded guilty for breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations and so was fined £3,500, £15 victim surcharge and £7,866 in court costs.

Health and Safety Services are there to Use

There are no excuses for breaching laws and regulations. Health and safety services are available all year round to ensure your health and safety policies and procedures are in line with the law. You must make sure you provide a safe working environment and follow the right guidelines when providing work for your employees. Call 0800 1488 677 and discuss your requirements with health and safety consultants today.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety, Health and Safety Consultancy, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Health and Safety, Workplace Safety

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