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LIFT FIRM FINED AFTER MOTOR ‘CRASHES’ TO LOBBY

Falling lift motor injured member of the public on hospital site

Cotswold Lifts Limited has been prosecuted after a lift motor being hoisted fell into a hospital lobby area in September 2010.

The impact caused structural damage to the concrete floor of the hospital lift lobby and to the ceiling of the level below. A member of the public who was waiting for the lift was injured by falling debris and was admitted to accident & emergency.

Luton & South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court heard (18 December) the motor was being moved using a sling and block and tackle when it became detached and fell 4m.

HSE investigators found that the company failed to properly plan and manage the operation, or make suitable arrangements to protect employees, hospital staff, patients and members of the public.

‘Good fortune’ that no-one was killed

Cotswold Lifts Limited, of Thorpe Close, , Thorpe Way Industrial Estate, Banbury , pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act Etc Act 1974. The company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,499 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector John Berezansky commented:

“Work on passenger and goods lifts is a high risk activity that causes significant numbers of serious and fatal injuries. The law broadly requires that competent persons plan, supervise and carry out lifting operations to ensure they are conducted safely.

On this occasion Cotswold Lifts Limited failed to put suitable arrangements in place. Members of the public, including hospital staff and patients, had access to the danger area in the lift lobby below. It is a matter of good fortune that no-one was killed or more seriously injured when the metal motor came crashing down”.

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