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    FALL FROM MOBILE PLANT LEAVES WORKMAN PARALYSED

    Gritter not designed with safe working platform or walkway

    Inex Works Ltd has been prosecuted after a workman was left paralysed from the neck down after falling 3m whilst standing on top of a gritting machine to dislodge compacted grit salt.

    Colin Shields suffered irreversible damage to his spine as a result of the fall and is paralysed from the neck down..

    The incident occurred at the company yard in Kilsyth when Mr Shields had climbed the ladder at the rear of the vehicle to gain access to the top of the gritter and then slipped and fell head first onto the ground.

    He was rushed to hospital but was found to have sustained several fractures of his spine, leaving him paralysed. He remained in hospital until July 2011 and later had surgery to his right arm that has provided him with some limited movement.

    HSE investigators found the company failed to take sufficient measures to prevent falls where work was being carried out at height.

    The gritter was not designed with a working platform, walkway or hand rails and Mr Shields was not wearing a harness or restraint to prevent him from falling. The incident could have been prevented by taking suitable precautions or using alternative means of access e.g. tower scaffold

    Lessons learned too late

    Inex Works Ltd, of St Vincent Street, Glasgow, was fined £13,500 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

    Following the case, HSE Inspector Hazel Dobb, said:

    “Mr Shields could have easily been killed. As it is, he has been left with irreversible injuries and he and his family have obviously been devastated.

    Inex Works Ltd failed to make sure employees were able to work in safety. This incident could have easily been avoided as there were several other ways this work could have been carried out, such as using alternative means of access or use of a harness.

    Tragically, that is a lesson for the company learned too late for Mr Shields.”

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