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Maintenance firm fined £30k for MEWP spillage

26 Oct 16 A maintenance firm has been fined £30,000 after a worker suffered serious head injuries when his mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) overturned.

Geoffrey Hatton, 49, from County Durham, was in the process of dismantling a waste compactor at a site in Wilmslow, Cheshire when the incident occurred on the 19th January 2015.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Mr Hatton, who was in the platform, was taking large pieces of cladding off the frame of the compactor. A section of cladding struck the MEWP and caused it to fall over.  Mr Hatton spent two months in hospital and has been unable to return to work.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found serious safety failings by Cole Mechanical Services Ltd. The MEWP was being used outside when it was only suitable for internal work, the firm’s employees were not trained in how to use MEWPs or how to safely erect tower scaffolding, and no risk assessment had been conducted for the work being carried out.  In addition, at the time of the incident another worker was working on a fragile roof with no protection to prevent falls.

Cole Mechanical Services Ltd of Ashbridge Road, Chesham, Buckinghamshire pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,995.

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