A 24-year-old engineer was fatally crushed whilst attempting to repair a factory goods lift with his colleagues on the 14th January 2020.
Lift Monitoring Systems Limited, previously known as RJ Lift Services Limited, was fined £200,000 after a HSE (Health and Safety Executive) investigation into the death.
The following information was found during the HSE investigation:
Lewis McFarlin (the victim) and two other lift engineers were on site to work on a different lift before being asked to resolve an issue with the door-opening mechanism on one of the lift landing doors.
While attempting to resolve the issue, Mr McFarlin was on top of the lift car with one engineer in the lift itself and the other outside on the landing. The lift had been placed in inspection mode enabling Mr McFarlin to control the lift from the lift’s rooftop. This mode enabled him to assist his colleague, inside the lift, to rectify the issue.
As the work progressed, the lift unexpectedly shifted from inspection mode to normal mode while Mr McFarlin was still on top. This sudden transition caused the lift to move at its normal speed, trapping him in a void between the lift car and the structural elements of the lift shaft.
Mr McFarlin’s colleagues tried to release him but were unable to. He had already lost his life by the time the emergency services arrived at the scene.
HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said:
“Sadly, in this case, the employer failed to fulfil its responsibilities to ensure that simple and established safety measures like sheeting covering the void that Lewis became trapped in, were in place. Had the employer informed the lift owner of this risk and insisted on installing the sheeting before commencing the work, or refused to work until the sheeting was fitted, this tragic incident simply would not have happened.”
Read the full HSE press release: click here
Here at TakeAIM / Good to Go Safety, we believe that providing your employees with as many opportunities to determine whether their next activity is safe is vitally important. Had the employer provided their employees with step by step inspections to be carried out prior to working on the lift, the employees could have identified safety issues which required to be rectified prior to work.
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