Demolition firm fined £200,000 after worker trapped in cherry picker

A demolition contractor has been fined £200,000 after the operator of an articulated boom lift was seriously injured after becoming trapped between the vehicle platform rail and the roof of an industrial shed.

Manchester Magistrates Court today heard how on Thursday 2 November 2017 a worker contracted by Preston-based Bradley Demolition Ltd was accessing the underside of the roof in Bredbury to remove asbestos sheets and was trapped by his neck between the basket of the machine and a roof truss. As a result of the incident the operator suffered life changing injuries which will require lifelong care.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the vehicle was not suitable for the work undertaken and that it was not fitted with propriety devices to avoid the likelihood of operators being crushed. The risk assessment did not sufficiently identify the entrapment hazard, and there was no effective communication with banksmen on the ground. An inadequate plan led to the operator being trapped for a sustained period of time.

Bradley Demolition Ltd of Kent Street, Preston pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £21,838.56.

HSE inspector David Argument said: “If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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