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Company fined after the death of worker

26 June 2017

North East contractor Pyeroy has been fined due to failings in its work at height rescue planning.

Plymouth Magistrates Court heard that on 21 October 2013 Keith Stevens, aged 57, was helping to dismantle temporary roofing at Devonport Naval Base using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP). His colleagues found him trapped between a roof beam and the controls of the MEWP. There was a delay in Mr Stevens being lowered to ground. Mr Stevens died of a pre-existing heart condition.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Pyeroy had not properly planned the work on a MEWP in restricted overhead areas. It was also found that other Pyeroy employees had not received suitable training in the emergency lowering procedure of the elevated platforms and no practice drills had been carried out.

Pyeroy pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the company has been fined £130,000 with costs of £14,388.36.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Helena Allum said: “If Pyeroy had trained other employees to use the mobile elevated work platform in emergency situations, Mr Stevens would have been lowered to the ground more swiftly.

“This case highlights the need for duty holders to properly plan all work at height beforehand, including emergency planning and rescue situations.”