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Wed December 01 2021

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Contractor fined for faulty cherry picker

22 Jun 18 A Devon painting and decorating contractor must pay £130,000 for health & safety breaches following the fatal overturning of a truck-mounted aerial platform.

Kenneth Leach, 49, was one of two men injured when the vehicle they were working from overturned in Dawlish on 13th December 2014. He died later in hospital.

The 34-metre Bronto mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) was mounted on an 18-tonne chassis. Safety mechanisms designed to prevent the platform slewing over retracted outriggers failed to work.

Exeter Crown Court heard this week that, prior to December 2014, there was an almost complete lack of a planned preventative maintenance systems at the company, T J Smith Contracting. The investigation also found that workers had not been given adequate information or instruction regarding how to use or maintain the machines or how to carry out pre-use checks.

T J Smith Contracting Ltd of Pellew Arcade, Teign Street, Teignmouth was found guilty of breaching Regulation 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £70,000.

HSE inspector Sue Adsett said after the hearing: “Owners of high risk work equipment such as cherry pickers have a responsibility to ensure that they are safe. The manufacturers’ maintenance regime should be followed, rather than simply carrying out repairs when the machine breaks down.”

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