Working at height

Posted on 28th August, 2014

The importance of taking appropriate health and safety measures when working from height has been emphasised by the HSE following the prosecution of a Lancashire skip hire firm.

Christopher Jones, owner of Bacup-based Shadlock Skips, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the videoing of an incident by a member of the public at the firm’s Newchurch Road site in May 2013.

He was ordered to pay more than £6,000 after he was filmed putting an employee’s life in danger by lifting him in an excavataor bucket.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Jones and an employee had been trying to remove a small piece of damaged plywood above the main shutter doors. No measures were put in place to prevent the worker from potentially falling around four metres from the bucket to the ground below.

HSE Inspector David Myrtle said: “Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths in Great Britain. It’s for this reason that HSE takes work at height seriously and expects employers, such as Mr Jones, to do the same. He knew that raising his employee in the bucket of the telehandler was wrong but thought that since the job would only take a minute it would be ok. It’s never ok to put someone’s life in danger – no matter how long it lasts.”