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    POORLY PLANNED LIFT DISMANTLE INJURED WORKMAN

    Counterweight or suspension rope struck worker in lift shaft

    Two companies have been fined a combined sum of £300,000 after a worker was found seriously injured in a lift shaft in March 2016.

    South Tyneside Magistrates heard how Dorin Samson was tasked, along with at least one other worker, to dismantle the lift in the former office block in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

    Mr Samson who was working in the lift shaft, suffered devastating life-changing injuries.

    Examination of the lift by the HSE Specialist Inspectors concluded that it was most likely Mr Samson was struck by the lift falling counterweight and/or falling lift suspension ropes.

    Stored energy not taken into account

    HSE investigators found the method of work used to dismantle the lift was unsafe and failed to take account of the stored energy in the lift counterweight and ropes. There was a failure to adequately plan the work and workers did not have the knowledge and experience to plan and dismantle the lift.

    The investigation also found that the CDM Principal Contractor failed to adequately plan and manage the dismantling of the lift and engaged a contractor who did not have the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the work.

    The sentences were passed by the judge after the hearing on 10th  October 2018.

    • Anders Development Limited – of City Lofts St. Pauls, St. Pauls Square, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £100,000 for each offence with £2720 costs.
    • J A Ball Limited – of Unit 2, Telford Way, Stephenson Industrial Estate, Coalville, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £200,000 with £2744 costs.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Zoe Wood said:

    “Demolition and dismantling on lifts must be planned by persons with knowledge of the principles and operating modes of the specific lift machine, its related safety features and the means by which it is incorporated into the structure of the building. All of these matters will help determine the most suitable method of work for the dismantling/demolition activity.

    Consideration must be given to the effect any work will have on the structure of the building the lift is housed in. The method of work should take into account suspended masses and stored energy in the counter weights, lift cars, ropes etc.”

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