Construction company T J Smith Contracting has been fined after failing to maintain their fleet of lorry mounted elevated work platforms (MEWP).
Following a fatal incident in Dawlish on December 13, 2014, a subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the MEWP involved in the incident failed to automatically stop before overslewing, 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.
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. There is no suggestion that the failings of the company caused the fatal incident in Dawlish.
T J Smith Contracting 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.”