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Adequate seating

Summary

A 15 year old casual worker received serious head injuries after falling from the rear of a vehicle which was being used for lamping to control foxes at midnight. He was sitting / kneeling on a bale of straw used as a seat operating a lamp. It is likely that he had been working since 5:30am that morning and may have fallen asleep. On a normal evening's lamping they would have continued until 2am. There was no assessment of the risk to young persons and neither had the parents of the youth been informed of the risks to which he was exposed. No protective cage was fitted to the vehicle. His head injuries required surgery.

Action

The company was prosecuted under Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. for having inadequate health and safety arrangements and the Director directly responsible for health and safety was prosecuted under S37of the Act. Magistrates fined the Co £5,000 plus costs of £1,141. The Director was fined £2,000 and was required a pay a further £450 as a contribution towards the costs of bringing the prosecution.

Advice

If you wish to carry passengers on vehicles then provisions must be made to allow them to be carried safety. Guard rails and secure seating helps to reduce the risks of persons falling from vehicles in motion.

2014-02-18