JDS Trucks Ltd Prosecuted by HSE

Blackburn truck firm sentenced over fall injuries
Date:15 June 2011Release No:HSE/NW/26JDSTrucks
A Blackburn truck firm has been sentenced after one of its employees was badly injured when he fell from the roof of a lorry cab.

JDS Trucks Ltd, which sells and repairs heavy goods vehicles, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its garage on Forrest Street in Blackburn on 4 December 2009.

The Blackburn garage where the 47-year-old worker was injured

The 47-year-old from Darwen fractured his hip and left elbow after he fell three metres while trying to step onto a ladder from the top of the cab. The worker, who has asked not to be named, needed four months off work to recover.

Accrington Magistrates’ Court heard that he had climbed onto the roof to assess whether a wind deflector needed to be fitted. But the ladder had not been secured and no one else was there to help him.

JDS Trucks Ltd pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and one breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The company, of Navigation Garage, Forrest Street, Blackburn, was fined £9,900 and ordered to pay £4,613 towards the cost of the prosecution on 15 June 2011.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Shellie Bee, said:

“JDS Trucks simply didn’t think about the risks the worker might face if he climbed onto the roof of the cab using a ladder, and put his life in danger as a result.

“He was off work for several months as a result of his injuries but could have suffered permanent injuries or even been killed. Since the incident, the company has upgraded its gantry for safe working at height and implemented a safe system of work for fitting wind deflectors.

“Ladders do have a use in the workplace and in some situations are appropriate with the correct training and if they’re properly secured. In this case, the incident occurred as the ladder was not secured, no training had been given and no safe system of work existed to complete the job safety.”

Last year, more than 4,000 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height at work and 12 were killed. More information on preventing falls in the workplace is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

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