Firm boss fined £5k for worker digger bucket lift

Friday, May 23, 2014 - 15:45
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PUNISHED: Christopher Jones lifted employee

The owner of a Bacup skip hire firm has been fined £5,000 after he was filmed lifting an employee in a digger bucket.

Christopher Jones was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a concerned member of the public videoed the incident at Shadlock Skips, on May 1, 2013.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Jones, 44, from Rossendale, 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 falling around four metres from the bucket to the ground below.

The court were told much safer methods of carrying out the work were available on the site, including attaching a man-riding cage to the front of the vehicle or using a ladder.

Mr Jones previously received a warning from HSE less than two months before the incident after the same employee was witnessed riding on top of a fully laden skip wagon as it reversed into the site.

Christopher Jones, of West View Road, Rossendale, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,039 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

David Myrtle, Inspector at HSE, 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 okay.

“That minute has cost Mr Jones dearly but had the employee fallen from the bucket then the cost to him and his family would have been immeasurable.

“It’s never okay to put someone’s life in danger – no matter how long it lasts.”

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