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Sentence after member of public injured after garage pit fall

Date:
8 December 2016

A self-employed garage mechanic was fined today after a member of the public was injured when picking up his vehicle from the premises.

Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard the injured man’s car was parked in front of a vehicle inspection pit. The garage owner was showing the customer a part fitted under the bonnet when the man attempted to walk around the garage owner and fell into the inspection pit.

The court heard the garage owner had given a verbal warning to the member of the public but he had apparently not heard it.

The man sustained two spinal fractures, a slipped disc, a badly sprained ankle and cuts and swelling.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting said the garage owner had allowed the member of the public into the garage with an open pit without suitable and sufficient precautions to prevent a fall.

Mr Farhad Mashinchi trading as Gold Star Vehicle Maintenance from Unit 35, Wedgewood Close, Stevenage, Herts, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1800 and ordered to pay £881 costs. A £170 victim surcharge was also levied against the company.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Sandra Dias  said: “When working in such an environment, with an open inspection pit there is a significant risk of death or serious injury.

“This garage owner relied on verbal warnings and floor markings instead of reasonably practical measures such as covering over the inspection pit or putting a barrier around it which would have prevented this serious fall.”

Information is freely available on the HSE website regarding suitable controls to various hazards in various industries. http://www.hse.gov.uk/mvr/topics/falls.htm

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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