JDS Trucks Ltd Prosecuted by HSE

Blackburn truck firm sentenced over fall injuries
Date:15 June 2011Release No:HSE/NW/26JDSTrucks
A Blackburn truck firm has been sentenced after one of its employees was badly injured when he fell from the roof of a lorry cab.

JDS Trucks Ltd, which sells and repairs heavy goods vehicles, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its garage on Forrest Street in Blackburn on 4 December 2009.

The Blackburn garage where the 47-year-old worker was injured

The 47-year-old from Darwen fractured his hip and left elbow after he fell three metres while trying to step onto a ladder from the top of the cab. The worker, who has asked not to be named, needed four months off work to recover.

Accrington Magistrates’ Court heard that he had climbed onto the roof to assess whether a wind deflector needed to be fitted. But the ladder had not been secured and no one else was there to help him.

JDS Trucks Ltd pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and one breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The company, of Navigation Garage, Forrest Street, Blackburn, was fined £9,900 and ordered to pay £4,613 towards the cost of the prosecution on 15 June 2011.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Shellie Bee, said:

“JDS Trucks simply didn’t think about the risks the worker might face if he climbed onto the roof of the cab using a ladder, and put his life in danger as a result.

“He was off work for several months as a result of his injuries but could have suffered permanent injuries or even been killed. Since the incident, the company has upgraded its gantry for safe working at height and implemented a safe system of work for fitting wind deflectors.

“Ladders do have a use in the workplace and in some situations are appropriate with the correct training and if they’re properly secured. In this case, the incident occurred as the ladder was not secured, no training had been given and no safe system of work existed to complete the job safety.”

Last year, more than 4,000 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height at work and 12 were killed. More information on preventing falls in the workplace is available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

Manchester firm fined £18000 plus costs for putting workers at risk

Options Properties Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after two men were found to be working 65 feet up next to a sheer drop at the Madison Apartments in Trafford on 14 May 2009.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard the men worked for a company called P&R Structural Glazing Ltd, contracted by Options Properties to fit glass balconies to the properties in the newly-built apartments.
The men had originally been working on scaffolding, but this was removed by Options Properties, leaving them with just a harness attached to a guardrail to stop them falling to the ground below.
The inspector who visited the site was so concerned that he immediately issued Prohibition Notices on both companies, ordering them to stop work immediately.
Investigating HSE Inspector Ian Betley said:
“It beggars belief that Options Properties Ltd risked the lives of these two men for the cost of a few extra days of scaffold hire.There is no way of knowing whether the guardrail and harness set up would have held these men on the balcony. Had one of them slipped, he would have taken his colleague with him and they could both have fallen to their deaths. I would advise other companies to have a proper work plans in place and to stick to them until the job is completed.”
Options Properties Ltd, of Princess Street, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to ensure that the work was properly planned and supervised and carried out in a safe manner. They were fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,115.