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MAJOR CONTRACTOR PROSECUTED OVER MEWP INCIDENT

Fall from mobile platform left workman paralysed from the waist

Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Ltd has been fined £120,000 after a workman was left paralysed after being ‘knocked’ from a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) on 25 January 2007 at Manor Royal Industrial Park in Crawley. The company was contracted to design and build mechanical and electrical systems in a number of new buildings.

A cable installer was working from a MEWP, with two colleagues, tying cables into overhead trays when the trays collapsed. The incident caused the man to fall from the MEWP some 8m to the floor below. He suffered severe spinal injuries and is now paralysed from the waist down.

The Crown Court at Lewes was told the company had failed to ensure the safety of its employees while carrying out the installation of the cable tray systems.

Proper tray design and installation needed 

Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Ltd admitted breaching section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined a total of £120,000 with full costs of £81,927.

After the hearing, HSE’s Inspector Denis Bodger said:

“This tragic incident would have been avoided if the company had ensured all parts of the cable tray system had been properly designed and installed, including how it was attached to the building.

During installation, when components were failing or showing signs of failure, Skanska took no action.

When construction work is subcontracted, whether it’s design or installation work, it is essential companies have adequate systems in place to manage this effectively.

The fine reflects the seriousness of the omissions by this company. Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Ltd employed people to do highly hazardous work and yet failed to take the appropriate steps to ensure their safety.

It is essential that employers consider all aspects of difficult and dangerous work; health and safety is not just a phrase, it is a considered approach to protecting people in the workplace.”

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One Response to “MAJOR CONTRACTOR PROSECUTED OVER MEWP INCIDENT”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 13th JULY 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Limited – 9m fall from scissor lift: £120,000 […]