Care home fined when worker severely injured after falling down a lift shaft

17 December 2018 – HSE

A privately owned care home was fined £50,000 after an employee sustained severe injuries following a fall from height.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard that on 09.07.2015, the lift shaft at Abbotsford Nursing Home had stopped between the upper and lower floor. A lift engineer attended and told the Director there was an issue with the access platform but that, as before, a screwdriver could be used to facilitate opening the door of the lift.

Woodbay allowed its employees to continue to use the lift in these circumstances, however, an employee used a screwdriver to open the lift, and intended entering the lift backwards. When she did so, she fell approximately four metres to the ground as the platform had not been brought up to the landing.

The resulting investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) led to a prohibition notice being served on the operation of the lift by use of the screwdriver to override the door locking mechanism when the lift was still faulty but energised. Whilst the access platform was defective and awaiting a new part, the access platform was not safe to use.

Woodbay Limited, operating Abbotsford Nursing Home, of Eglinton Road, Ardrossan pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work and has been fined £50,000.


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