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Mon May 17 2021

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Demolition contractor fined £200k after man trapped in cherry picker basket

20 Apr A Preston demolition company has been fined £200,000 after the operator of a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) became trapped between the platform rail and the roof of an industrial shed.

Manchester Magistrates Court heard how on Thursday 2nd November 2017 a worker contracted by Bradley Demolition was accessing the underside of the roof in Bredbury to remove asbestos sheets. As the articulate boom lift continued to elevate, he became 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.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the vehicle was not fitted with a propriety anti-crushing device 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.

HSE inspector David Argument said after the hearing: “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.”

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