Westminster Magistrates Court heard this week how Leyland SDM (LSDM) Limited had been in the process of redeveloping a warehouse in Wembley. However, when four men tried to move a ventilation unit into position, the working platform became overloaded and gave way.
The workers fell nearly four metres to the ground. Two of the four suffered leg fractures; another broke a collar bone.
A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that neither the work at height nor the lifting operations has been planned properly. The company had failed to manage the risks when working at height and carrying out the lifting operation. The company also failed to have the right level of trained personnel and supervision in place to carry out these tasks safely and effectively.
LSDM of Fourth Way, Wembley pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 4 (1) of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. It was fined £450,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1038.
HSE inspector Jack Wilby said after the hearing: “The safety failings by this company are severe and it is lucky that the injuries were not more severe. This incident highlights the importance of planning work, in this case both for lifting operations and working from height, to ensure it is carried out safely.”