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A garage has been fined after an employee suffered life changing injuries when he fell into a vehicle inspection pit.

The employee fell into a vehicle inspection pit more than five feet deep whilst carrying out mechanical repairs to a nearby vehicle the court heard. The vehicle inspection pit was partially covered with a small vehicle leaving around seven feet of the pit uncovered and without any other measures in place to prevent exposing employees to an unnecessary fall risk. The employee sustained serious head and shoulder injuries, which required surgery. The incident happened in 2018.

The HSE’s investigation found that the company had failed to ensure the pit had any physical measures, such as barriers or pit covers, in place to prevent a person falling into it.

The garage pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were duly fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Kate Clark said: “Serious injuries or death can be prevented if basic safeguards such as barriers or pit covers are put in place. There is clear guidance for garages about vehicle inspection pits.”

We see only too often voids in the ground, whether it be inspection pits as detailed above or excavations with little or no edge protection in place. It is essential that these are protected to prevent falls. If you have a change in levels then suitable measures should be put in place. 

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