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MOBILE ELEVATING PLATFORM OVERTURN

MEWP toppled as concealed manhole cover failed under load

Shepherd Construction Limited of York has been ordered to pay over £26k in fines and prosecution costs after a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) overturned.

The incident seriously injured the operator and put the public at risk.

Falling arm narrowly avoids injuring the public

The incident occurred at the Trinity Square construction site in central Nottingham in August 2007 when a contractor drove a cherry picker over a concealed man hole cover.

The cover gave way under the weight of the machine and the cherry picker toppled leaving the driver with serious injuries to his skull, back and legs.

The long reaching arm of the machine landing in a busy area that had been occupied by pedestrians and vehicles only seconds before.

Following the incident, Milton Street in central Nottingham was blocked off for almost six hours.

Operators must be warned of hazard 

HSE Inspector Martin Giles said: “This was a very dangerous incident, in an area which was bustling with pedestrians and vehicles. It could so easily have led to people being killed and has left a worker with serious injuries.

“The company failed to put in place adequate measures to find and record where the man holes and service covers were around the site and failed to take steps to protect them or prevent vehicles from driving over them.

“Operators of mobile elevating work platforms, such as scissor lifts and cherry pickers, must be warned about man hole covers and underground services because there is a real risk of them collapsing and heavy vehicles toppling over.

“When people’s lives are at risk it is absolutely inexcusable to leave this to chance.”

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