Fleet News

WATCH: Skip firm owner fined for lifting employee in digger bucket

The owner of a skip hire firm in Lancashire has been fined after he was filmed putting an employee’s life in danger by lifting him in a digger bucket.

Christopher Jones was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a member of the public videoed the incident at Shadlock Skips on May 1 2013.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard Jones, from Rossendale, and an employee had been trying to remove a small piece of damaged plywood above the main shutter doors.

No measures were put in place to prevent the worker falling around four metres from the bucket to the ground below.

The court was told much safer methods of carrying out the work were available on the site. These included attaching a man-riding cage to the front of the vehicle or simply using a ladder.

Mr Jones previously received a warning from HSE less than two months before the incident after the same employee was witnessed riding on top of a fully laden skip wagon as it reversed into the site.

Jones was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,039 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 on 16 May 2014.

HSE Inspector David Myrtle said:

“Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths in Great Britain. It’s for this reason that HSE takes work at height seriously and expects employers, such as Mr Jones, to do the same.

“He knew that raising his employee in the bucket of the telehandler was wrong but thought that since the job would only take a minute it would be ok.

“That minute has cost Mr Jones dearly but had the employee fallen from the bucket then the cost to him and his family would have been immeasurable. It’s never ok to put someone’s life in danger – no matter how long it lasts.”


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  • Mark - 19/05/2014 14:01

    Oh no, What ever next, not someone being lifted in a digger. Whatever next, a man not using a fully supported harness to put his boots on incase he should fall over while balancing on one leg in the morning. If 'Elf and Safety' had been around in the days of early mankind, we would still be living in caves. No wait a minute, there would have to have been a full site assessment with signage everywhere warning Neanderthals to wear yet to be developed hard hats made of animal skulls and animal skins dyed yellow before they could use their initiative and get on with life!! This world is getting crazier by the day

  • Mark - 19/05/2014 17:32

    The employee must be stupid himself. Why would any right thinking person put themselves in danger and for what gain? People need to take more personal responsibility and don't expect someone will look after them.

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