Wynbrook pleads guilty to breach of Health and Safety Act after electrician fell 2.5m in metal cage

A housebuilder has been fined £10,000 after an electrician fell 2.5m in a metal cage.

Nottingham-based Wynbrook pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to ensure contractors were not exposed to risks to their safety. In addition to the £10,000, the firm was ordered to pay £3,362 costs.

The incident occurred on 30 October 2007, when an electrician was working on a residential development in Lincoln.

The electrician was taken to hospital suffering concussion, a broken wrist and other injuries

Wynbrook, the principal contractor on the site, had hired a telescopic materials handler and a man-carrying cage to carry out parts of the work. The cage was put onto the forks of the handler and used to lift a number of people to otherwise inaccessible parts of the site.

However, the driver, who had not been trained in the use of the cage, failed to secure it to the forks on this occasion. The electrician was lifted up and the cage fell off, dropping around two and a half metres to the ground.

The electrician suffered concussion, a broken wrist and other injuries and was unable to work for more than eight months.

In addition, no-one who had been in the cage had worn a harness to secure themselves to it, and the driver was unaware the telescopic handler had a safety pin in the cab that could be used to prevent the forks from accidentally being dropped.

HSE Inspector Martin Giles said: “Last year 61 people died and more than 14,000 suffered a serious injury after a slip, trip or fall from height at work. It is the most common cause of death at work.

"This incident could have been avoided, and a man might not have been seriously injured if the company had managed this risk by ensuring the telehandler driver had had the appropriate training required to carry out the lifting operation safely.”