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Skip hire firm owner fined after video footage shows unsafe practice

Christopher Jones, the owner of a skip hire firm in Bacup, has been in court after video footage was released showing him lifting an employee in a digger bucket.

What happened?

The 44-year-old and one of his employees had been trying to remove a small piece of damaged plywood above the main shutter doors, when a concerned member of the public videoed the incident.

A court heard that no measures had been taken to prevent the worker falling around four metres to the ground from the digger bucket.

Additionally, the court was told that Mr Jones had received a warning from HSE less than two months prior to the incident, after the same employee was seen riding on top of a fully laden skip wagon as it reversed into the site.

What was the outcome?

Mr Jones, from Rossendale, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,039

David Myrtle, HSE Inspector, said:

“Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths in Great Britain.
It’s for this reason that HSE takes work at height seriously and
expects employers, such as Mr Jones, to do the same.

“He knew that raising his employee in the bucket of the telehandler was wrong
but thought that since the job would only take a minute it would be OK.

“That minute has cost Mr Jones dearly but had the employee fallen from the
bucket then the cost to him and his family would have been
immeasurable. It’s never OK to put someone’s life
in danger – no matter how long it lasts.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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