Major Bus Manufacturer Prosecuted For Safety Failings

Alexander Dennis Fined After Worker Is Injured In Gantry Fall

25.02.2014

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reiterated the dangers associated with working at height, after a major bus manufacturer was fined £26,800 for safety failings at one of its sites.

Edinburgh-based Alexander Dennis was also ordered to pay £5,286 in costs having pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Work at Height Regulations and the Management of Health and Safety Regulations during a hearing at Rotherham Magistrates' Court.

The fine was issued in relation to an incident that took place in South Yorkshire on June 7th 2012.

An unnamed worker suffered head injuries, a fractured big toe and a broken and dislocated elbow after falling two metres from an unsafe gantry.

The 55-year-old, one of 2,000 people employed by the international firm, was attempting to paint the roof of a double-decker bus at the Plaxtons site at Ryton Road, in Anston.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the platform he was using to reach the highest parts of the bus did not have a gate or bar fitted to the access steps.

The gantries used on the site did not have inner guard rails and they did not stretch the length of a bus, which meant workers had to constantly push the platform along as they did their jobs. The wheels on which the gantries were set, it emerged, did not have any brakes.

HSE inspectors said the man took a step too far and lost his balance, before dropping to the floor. He has since recovered from his injuries and returned to work.
 
Falls from height are still the most common cause of occupational accident in the UK and HSE inspector Denise Fotheringham said such tasks are "fraught with risk".

She confirmed the workers in this case had not received adequate training to work off the ground.

"For a company of its size and reputation, I would have hoped that Alexander Dennis would be setting the standards in safety at its sites," Ms Fotheringham commented.

"Instead, this is one of a number of cases in the recent past where HSE has had to take enforcement action against the company."