BREAKING NEWS: firm fined after man broke neck in fall

A FIRM has been ordered to pay almost £20,000 in fines and court costs after a Hucknall man broke his next in a work accident.

The 44-year-old, who has asked not to be named, was working for City and County Signs and using a vehicle-mounted lift to remove a sign from a business on Hucknall High Street.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court heard that the worker was standing in the basket but as it elevated one of two levelling rods that keep the basket horizontal at all times broke, causing the basket to tip backwards.

The man fell around 1.5 metres and suffered minor injuries in addition to breaking his neck.

He was in hospital for six days after the accident on November 5 2009. When he was discharged he was initially unable to drive or undertake routine tasks. He was off work for nine weeks.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found City and County Signs, of Bingham, Nottinghamshire, had failed to ensure the vehicle-mounted lift was thoroughly examined in the six months before the fall, as required by law.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations Act 1998. It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,032.

HSE inspector Lorna Sherlock said the fall could have been avoided and the Hucknall man “suffered some nasty injuries which could have easily been much worse”.