Firm fined after worker's cage fall
Posted by Jason Nicholls.
A vehicle repair firm has been fined after one of its employees fell from a cage balanced on a fork lift truck, highlighting the importance of warning signs.
Yeovil-based Vincents Car Sales was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after Douglas Mowat fell when he was repairing a lorry on August 18th 2008.
The incident happened when the 38-year-old, who was trying to change a light at the back of the vehicle, placed a metal cage on the forks of a fork lift truck and stood on top of it, while a colleague then raised the forks.
He had been given a step ladder for the work but it wasn't tall enough.
As it was raised, the cage came off the forks and Mr Mowat fell, fracturing his elbow and badly bruising his shoulder.
A HSE investigation found the firm had not carried out a risk assessment and had failed to provide a safe system of work.
Vincents has entered administration but the incident was considered significant enough for prosecution to go ahead and the company was fined £5,000.
After the hearing, Caroline Coleman, HSE inspector, said: "It is not safe to use a cage on the forks of a fork lift truck, unless it is specially designed for this use and properly secured. As witnessed here, a metal cage on metal forks can easily slip.
"Businesses have a responsibility to ensure employees are adequately trained and equipped to work safely with fork lifts."
In 2008/2009 over 4,000 major injuries were caused by falls from height at work.
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