It didn’t help his case that the dangerous and highly unapproved manoeuvre was captured on video camera (see below).
Christopher Jones, aged 44, and an employee were filmed by ‘a concerned member of the public’ at Shadlock Skips in Bacup on 1 May 2013.
In a prosecution brought by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Burnley magistrates heard on Friday (16th May 2014) that Mr Jones had been trying to remove a small piece of damaged plywood above the main shutter doors.
Mr Jones had previously received a warning from the HSE just a few weeks earlier after the same employee was witnessed riding on top of a fully laden skip wagon as it reversed into the site.
Christopher Jones, of West View Road in Rossendale, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,039 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 on 16 May 2014.
HSE inspector David Myrtle said after the hearing: “Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths in Great Britain. It’s for this reason that HSE takes work at height seriously and expects employers, such as Mr Jones, to do the same. He knew that raising his employee in the bucket of the telehandler was wrong but thought that since the job would only take a minute it would be ok.
“That minute has cost Mr Jones dearly but had the employee fallen from the bucket then the cost to him and his family would have been immeasurable. It’s never ok to put someone’s life in danger – no matter how long it lasts.”