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Garage fined after inspection pit fall caused ‘life-changing injuries’

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GP Motor Works has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs after an employee suffered life changing injuries when he fell into a vehicle inspection pit.

The business, on Embankment Road, Bembridge, Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found it had failed to ensure the pit had any physical measures in place to prevent a person falling into it.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how the mechanic fell into the vehicle inspection pit, which was more than five feet deep, while carrying out mechanical repairs to a nearby vehicle on September 3, 2018.  

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.

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.”

The HSE is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.

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