2.2M fine for retail giant after staff paralysed in lift malfunction

Published: 19 Jan 2017

Passenger lift safety has been brought back into focus after a member of staff was left paralysed after a roller cage toppled due to the lift not opening onto a level surface.

Retail giant Wilko was fined £2.2M after previous passenger lift safety failings which was highlighted during the LOLER inspection by the lift safety engineer had not been addressed.

The retail giant was prosecuted by Leicester City Council after the heavily laden metal cage, used to move stock around the store, toppled over a ledge that was created when the lift stopped at a slightly lower level than the floor.

The cage fell over as part time employee Corisande Collins manoeuvred it out of the doors, crushing her beneath hundreds of litres of paint tins. She sustained severe spinal injuries and now requires the use of a wheelchair.

In addition to lift safety failings, the investigation also uncovered that staff were not adequately trained in the loading and handling of cages with inadequate risk assessments in place.

This unfortunate accident could easily have been avoided if the following key requirements were put in place:

  1. Ensure that statutory passenger lift safety inspections and maintenance inspections are conducted on a 6 monthly basis.
  2. All significant findings and failings highlighted by the lift safety engineers must be swiftly acted upon to ensure that legal compliance is met.
  3. Site specific manual handling risk assessments must be put in place for the use of roll cages. These need to be reviewed as required with staff to receive adequate training prior to carrying out tasks involving the use of roller cages.

To ensure that your company meets legal compliance, contact CSC today where our team of experts will be able to advise on your lift safety and manual handling requirements.