Firm fined after South Yorkshire worker hurt in fall

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A bus and coach manufacturer has been fined £26,800 after a worker was injured falling from a poorly-guarded gantry at its South Yorkshire plant.

Alexander Dennis Ltd, of Edinburgh, admitted safety failings at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court after a Health and Safety Executive investigation into the incident on June 7, 2012.

The employee fell two metres to the ground from the platform of a gantry when he got too close to an open edge as he worked on the exterior of a double-decker.

He suffered head injuries, a broken and dislocated elbow and a fractured big toe. He has since recovered and returned to work.

HSE found the company, which trades locally as Plaxtons, had not provided employees with a safe method of working at height, failed to suitably train them to carry out that type of work and provided them with gantries that were unsuitable.

The 55-year-old employee, from Rotherham, was working a nightshift with a colleague and was preparing the top level of a double-decker for painting at the Plaxtons site on Ryton Road, Anston, near Sheffield, where vehicles are repaired and refurbished.

The platform he was on did not have a gate or bar fitted to the access steps and as he worked on the bus exterior, he moved closer to the open edge, took a step too far, lost his balance and fell.

HSE’s investigation revealed all four gantries at the site were unstable and inadequately guarded.

Alexander Dennis Ltd was fined a total of £26,800 and ordered to pay £5,286 in costs after admitting single breaches of the Work at Height Regulations and the Management of Health and Safety Regulations.