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£145,000 penalty for contractor guilty of failings in work at height rescue planning (27 June 2017)

Date: 27/06/2017
Duncan Lewis, Personal Injury Solicitors, £145,000 penalty for contractor guilty of failings in work at height rescue planning

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a contractor after a worker died while dismantling temporary roofing.

On 21 October 2013, Keith Stevens, 57, was working for Gateshead contractor Pyeroy Ltd at Devonport Naval Base.

Mr Stevens was using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP), when colleagues found him trapped between a roof beam and the controls of the MEWP.

There was a delay in Mr Stevens being lowered to ground and he died of a pre-existing heart condition.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, however, found that Pyeroy had not properly planned the work on a MEWP in restricted overhead areas.

It was also found that other Pyeroy employees had not received suitable training in the emergency lowering procedure of the elevated platforms – and no practice drills had been carried out.

At Plymouth Magistrates’ Court, Pyeroy Ltd of St Omers Road, Western Riverside Route in Gateshead pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The company was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,388.36.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Helena Allum said:

“If Pyeroy had trained other employees to use the mobile elevated work platform in emergency situations, Mr Stevens would have been lowered to the ground more swiftly.

“This case highlights the need for duty holders to properly plan all work at height beforehand, including emergency planning and rescue situations.”

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