The Health and Safety Executive decided to prosecute a London sightseeing company after one of its mechanics was seriously injured by one of its buses.
The man was working underneath the open-topped bus which was raised on wooden blocks and column vehicle lifts, when one of the blocks broke. The axle dropped onto the mechanic, breaking his pelvis and several ribs. Even though the accident occurred in 2009, the mechanic still suffers from pain.
The HSE found that a failure to conduct a risk assessment had contributed to the incident. The blocks were not suitable for the task in hand and presented a significant risk of breaking. Other types of lift were available that would have been more appropriate, or the bus could have been taken to another depot equipped with pits.
Risk assessments are an important part of health and safety training, and can be instrumental in reducing the likelihood of accidents. In this particular case, the HSE concluded that the failure to conduct a risk assessment had resulted in a dangerous course of action and an accident that could easily have been prevented.
The company was found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,500.