A COMPANY has been been fined after two teenage agency workers fell from a lifting platform and suffered injuries at its Tibshelf depot.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Storetec Limited and one of its directors after Leon Payne (18), from Sutton, broke his back at the company’s depot on Sawpit Lane on 6th April 2009.
His colleague, who is 18 and asked not to be named, broke both heels and needed pins and a metal plate put in to his feet.
Derby Crown Court was told on Friday that they were helping to put scrapped trolleys into a skip using a makeshift lifting platform designed by Storetec director Brian Crossan to fit a fork lift truck.
As the platform was bringing the two workers down, it caught and dragged off the truck’s forks. The workers and platform fell four-and-a-half metres to the ground.
The HSE’s investigation found that the company had failed to ensure the health and safety of its staff and that Mr Crossan had not followed guidelines in the design of the platform, as the fork extensions did not fit properly into the platform.
The plate also did not have any chains or any other means to secure it to the fork lift truck and it had an open edge.
HSE inspector Fiona Coffey said: “These two teenagers, who were just embarking on their working lives, narrowly escaped death and have now been left with life-changing physical and psychological injuries.”
Storetec Ltd, registered at Europa House, on Heathcote Lane, Warwick, admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Derby Crown Court fined the firm £22,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £12,134 as well as a £15 victim surcharge.
Mr Crossan also admitted breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £7,866 and a £15 victim surcharge.