A manufacturer of luxury bedroom furniture has been fined after an employee fell more than 2 m from a makeshift mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) that had been deemed “unacceptable” in a previous safety audit report.
The And So To Bed employee was standing on the platform, which was attached to a forklift truck and was open sided when the accident happened at the company’s factory in Bridport, Dorset. He sustained injuries to his knee and face, Poole Magistrates’ Court was told.
The company was fined £113,000 plus £6,924 costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
An investigation by environmental health officers from West Dorset District Council found that And So to Bed had invested in a safer system after its safety and health audit report said the use of the makeshift platform was “unacceptable”. Despite this, the dangerous MEWP had continued to be used on an almost daily basis.
It had failed to manage the risk of staff falling from the MEWP and had not implemented a safe system of work. The personal protective equipment provided to employees was also “inadequate”, the council said.
And So To Bed implemented a new safety and health regime after the accident, which the judge acknowledged at the sentencing hearing on 28 August.