Firm found guilty of health and safety breaches

Both a manufacturing firm and its director have been prosecuted following an accident involving two teenage agency workers. The young workers were putting scrapped trolleys into a skip with the help of a makeshift lifting platform. As the platform was being lowered to the ground by a forklift truck, it got caught and the two workers fell over four metres to the ground.

One of the workers broke his back, while the other broke both his heels, requiring the insertion of pins and a metal plate into his feet. Both have suffered life-changing injuries at the very start of their careers, and the subsequent investigation found that the makeshift platform and a lack of planning were responsible for their injuries.

Working at height and with machinery leaves no room for improvisation or for makeshift equipment; such jobs present significant risks that must be managed and controlled correctly or lives will be put at risk. The director who devised the makeshift platform was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of almost eight thousand pounds. The company was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than twelve thousand pounds.