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    BOTTLE JACK SUPPORT FAILED TO PREVENT DEATH

    Director sentenced alongside company over death of engineer

    A commercial vehicle repair firm and its managing director have been sentenced following the death of an employee who was crushed by a bus in July 2017.

    Cambridge Crown Court heard how the male employee was working in a vehicle inspection pit beneath a single decker bus at the company premises in Upwell, Cambs.

    The rear of the bus was raised and supported on two bottle jacks, so that work could be carried out on the brakes. The coach fell from the jacks onto the employee, killing him instantly.

    Lifting operation was unsafe

    HSE investigators found that the defendant company failed to plan and organise the lifting of the bus in a manner that ensured the safety of their workers.

    The coach was inadequately supported by two hydraulic bottle jacks. It should have been supported so that it could not have fallen, using axle stands or other appropriate equipment.

    • A D Hurst and Son Commercial Limited – of Baptist Road, Upwell, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,282.54
    • Alan Hurst – company director of Baptist Road, Upwell, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and received a custodial sentence of six months in prison suspended for 18 months.

    Speaking after the hearing, the family of David Nelson said:

    ”We hope that this case will help to raise awareness that such tragic incidents and loss of life are totally avoidable and completely unnecessary, so that no other family has to go through the pain and devastation that we have to deal with.”

    HSE Inspector Paul Unwin commented:

    ”This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a much loved family man. Employers should make sure that they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous work activities.”

     

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