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    Prosecution highlights need to manage public access and safety

    Gold Star Vehicle Maintenance (Mr Farhad Mashinchi T/A) has been was fined today after a member of the public was injured after falling into a vehicle inspection pit on business premises.

    Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard a car belonging to the injured man was parked in front of a vehicle inspection pit. The garage owner was showing the customer a part fitted under the bonnet when the customer walked around the garage owner and fell into the inspection pit.

    The court heard that a verbal warning had been given to the member of the public who had apparently not heard the warning.

    The man sustained two spinal fractures, a slipped disc, a badly sprained ankle and cuts and swelling.

    HSE said the garage owner allowed the member of the public into the garage with an open inspection pit without suitable and sufficient precautions to prevent a fall.

    Covers would have prevented fall

    Gold Star Vehicle Maintenance (Mr Farhad Mashinchi T/A) of Unit 35, Wedgewood Close, Stevenage, Herts, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1800 and ordered to pay £881 costs. A £170 victim surcharge was also levied against the company.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Sandra Dias  said:

    “When working in such an environment, with an open inspection pit there is a significant risk of death or serious injury.

    This garage owner relied on verbal warnings and floor markings instead of reasonably practical measures such as covering over the inspection pit or putting a barrier around it which would have prevented this serious fall.”

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