Skip firm owner fined over loader incident

The owner of a Lancashire skip hire firm has been ordered to pay over 6,000 after he was filmed putting an employees life in danger by lifting him in a digger bucket.

Christopher Jones, the owner of Bacup-based Shadlock Skips, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a concerned member of the public videoed the incident at the firms Newchurch Road site on May 1 2013.

Burnley Magistrates Court heard on Friday (May 16) that Mr Jones, 44 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 from potentially falling around four metres from the bucket to the ground below.

Previous incident

Mr Jones, who pleaded guilty to a breach in the Work at Height Regulations 2005, had 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.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector David Myrtle said: Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths in Great Britain. Its 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. Its never ok to put someones life in danger no matter how long it lasts.

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, the company said it did not wish to comment on the matter.

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