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Demolition company fined after worker sustained life changing injuries

A Preston demolition company has been fined after the operator of an articulated boom type cherry picker became trapped between the vehicle platform rail and the roof of an industrial shed.

The incident happened on 2 November 2017, when a worker contracted by Bradley Demolition Ltd was accessing the underside of the roof in Bredbury to remove asbestos sheets. He 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.

The HSE’s investigation 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.

Speaking after the hearing 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.”

HSE April 2021

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