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DELAYED RESCUE CONTRIBUTED TO DEATH AT HEIGHT

MEWP operator died trapped between controls and roof beam

Pyeroy Ltd, a contractor based in NE England, has been fined due to failings in their work at height rescue planning in October 2013.

Plymouth Magistrates Court heard Keith Stevens, aged 57, was involved in dismantling a temporary roofing at the Devonport Naval Base using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP).

His colleagues found him trapped between a roof beam and the controls of the MEWP. There was a delay in Mr Stevens being lowered to ground although Mr Stevens died of a pre-existing heart condition.

HSE investigators found that the defendant did not properly plan the work on a MEWP in restricted overhead areas. It was also found that other employees had not received suitable training in the emergency lowering procedure of the elevated platforms and no practice drills had been carried out.

Emergency and rescue must be planned

Pyeroy Ltd of St Omers Road, Western Riverside Route, Gateshead has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,388.36.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Helena Allum said:

“If Pyeroy had trained other employees to use the mobile elevated work platform in emergency situations, Mr Stevens would have been lowered to the ground more swiftly.”

This case highlights the need for duty holders to properly plan all work at height beforehand, including emergency planning and rescue situations.”

 

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