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Shepherd fined £20k over cherry picker collapse at Trinity Square

Shepherd Construction has been fined £20,000 after a mobile elevating work platform overturned at its Trinity Square site in central Nottingham in 2007, seriously injuring a worker and “putting the public at risk”.

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard a worker had been driving a cherry picker over a concealed man hole cover when the cover gave way and the machine toppled over.

“The long reaching arm of the machine crashed to the ground, landing in a busy area that had been occupied by pedestrians and vehicles only seconds before,” the Health and Safety Executive said.” Following the incident, Milton Street in central Nottingham was blocked off for almost six hours.”

The driver suffered serious injuries to his skull, back and legs in the fall.

HSE inspector Martin Giles said: “This was a very dangerous incident. It could so easily have led to people being killed and has left a worker with serious injuries.

“The company failed to put in place adequate measures to find and record where the man holes and service covers were around the site and failed to take steps to protect them or prevent vehicles from driving over them.

“Operators of mobile elevating work platforms, such as scissor lifts and cherry pickers, must be warned about man hole covers and underground services because there is a real risk of them collapsing and heavy vehicles toppling over.

“When people’s lives are at risk it is absolutely inexcusable to leave this to chance.”

York-based Shepherd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £6,900 in costs.