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£200,000 fine for lift accident causing 'devastating life-changing' injuries

 

Coalville building firm fined £200,000 after worker suffers 'devastating life-changing' injuries in lift accident

J A Ball Ltd was also ordered to pay £2,744 costs following the incident

A Leicestershire construction firm has been fined £200,000 after a worker was seriously injured while dismantling a lift shaft in a former office block.

J A Ball Ltd, of Unit 2, on Coalville’s Stephenson Industrial Estate, in Telford Way, was also ordered to pay £2,744 costs following the incident.

The firm was the principal contractor on a construction project at 50 Fawcett Street, in Sunderland.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), South Tyneside Magistrates Court heard that an employee of sub-contractor Anders Development Ltd was found seriously injured in the lift shaft.

A HSE spokesman, speaking after the hearing, said: “In the early afternoon of March 8, 2016, the employee, who was working in the lift shaft, suffered devastating life-changing injuries.

“Examination of the lift by the specialist HSE inspectors found that it was most likely that he was struck by the lift’s falling counterweight and, or, falling lift suspension ropes.”

 

He said that an investigation discovered the method used by Anders Development Ltd to dismantle the lift was “unsafe” and that the company had failed to “take account of the stored energy in the lift’s counterweight and ropes.

“They had also failed to adequately plan the work and the company and its workers did not have the knowledge and experience to plan and dismantle the lift,” he added.

The investigation found that J A Ball Ltd was also at fault for the accident.

The HSE spokesman said: “They failed to adequately plan and manage the dismantling of the lift, and they had engaged a contractor to dismantle the lift who did not have the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the work.”

The Coalville firm pleaded guilty to to breaching Regulation 13(1) of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 at an earlier hearing.

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