Social media

Javascript is required to use HSE website social media functionality.

Lewisham council fined after failing to control risk

11 January 2018

The London Borough of Lewisham has today been found guilty and fined for failing to manage and control the risk of persons falling into vehicle inspection pits at their Wearside Service Centre in Ladywell.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, a visitor to the Wearside Service Centre fell into a vehicle inspection pit striking her head while work was being undertaken at the site. Lewisham Council had failed to heed their own independent health and safety consultant’s findings from two sets of risk assessments that recommended guarding around or over the open pits. Lewisham Council also ignored HSE guidance on the need to guard against persons falling into vehicle inspection pits.

London Borough of Lewisham of Lewisham Town Hall, Catford Road, London were found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The council has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,000.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Ian Shearring said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work fatalities in this country. The risks associated with working at height are well-known. Lewisham Council had been repeatedly warned of the risk and what they needed to do, and have today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of persons visiting their site.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at

Media contacts

Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases.