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    DEATH EXPOSED MINIMAL MEWP MAINTENANCE

    Court told about “almost complete” lack of MEWP maintenance

    A construction company has been ordered to pay £130,000 in fines and prosecution costs after placing employees and members of the public at risk of serious injury by failing to suitably maintain their fleet of lorry mounted elevated work platforms (MEWP).

    A fatal incident in Dawlish on 13 December 2014 and subsequent HSE investigation found that the MEWP involved in the incident failed to automatically stop before over slewing thereby increasing the risk of vehicle overturn.

    Exeter Crown Court heard that, prior to December 2014, there was an almost complete lack of a planned preventative maintenance systems at the company.

    Workers not informed of requirements

    The investigation also found that workers had not been given adequate information or instruction regarding how to use or maintain the machines or how to carry out pre-use checks.

    HSE stress that there is no suggestion that the failings of the company caused the fatal incident in Dawlish.

    • T J Smith Contracting Ltd – of Pellew Arcade, Teign Street, Teignmouth was found guilty of breaching Regulation 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £70,000.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sue Adsett said:

    “Owners of high risk work equipment such as cherry pickers have a responsibility to ensure that they are safe. The manufacturers’ maintenance regime should be followed, rather than simply carrying out repairs when the machine breaks down.”

     

    Courtesy of Construction Plant-hire Association – Guidance on the importance of keeping all MEWPs in safe working condition throughout their working life to ensure continued safe and efficient operation. It identifies three key elements – Inspection, Maintenance and Thorough Examination – and details why each of these elements should be given equal emphasis to ensure optimum safety. CLICK ON IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD GUIDANCE

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