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Devon Contractors fined for breach of Health & Safety at Work Regulations

Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
11th July 2018
Cherry Picker

When it comes to health and safety on a construction site, making sure workers have the correct training and undertake the required procedures is imperative.

Working with heavy machinery, construction equipment and vehicles comes with a number of risks meaning you could injure yourself, someone else or cause a fatality.

Devon contractor, TJ Smith Contracting, knows this only too well. During the renovation of the Railway Convalescent Home in 2014 a painter suffered a fatal incident inside the basket of a cherry picker when its 34m Bronto mobile elevated work platform was over-extended causing it to tumble over. 

An inquiry into the incident found that the basket rotated further than it should have, became unstable, then overturned, causing the vehicle to descend into the street injuring one worker and killing another. 

The investigation found that workers had not been given a satisfactory level of health and safety training or instruction on how to use, maintain and carry out checks on a cherry picker. The fatal incident could have been avoided if the company had adequately trained its staff to carry out checks on the machinery they were operating.

The incident resulted in legal proceedings and Exeter Crown Court heard that there was a complete lack of a planned preventative maintenance system at the company and found it guilty of breaching two Health and Safety at Work Regulations. The company had to pay out £130,000 after being fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £70,000 for putting workers and members of the public at risk. 

If you want to avoid an incident or injury to your staff or a hefty fine for your company, we advise to carefully plan jobs and ensure all staff are properly trained and supervised when operating any kind of machinery which not only protects your workers but your reputation too.