An independent garage has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £10,000 in costs after an employee suffered life-changing injuries when he fell into a vehicle inspection pit over two years ago.
Earlier this month, Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how on 3 September 2018, an employee of GP Motors Works Ltd on the Isle of Wight fell into a vehicle inspection pit more than 5ft deep whilst carrying out mechanical repairs to a nearby vehicle.
The vehicle inspection pit was partially covered with a small vehicle leaving around 7ft of the pit uncovered and without any other measures in place to prevent any risk of falls.
The employee sustained serious head and shoulder injuries, which required surgery.
The employee was flown to a mainland hospital by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
Multiple emergency services were involved in the rescue operation to lift the casualty from the bottom of the pit on a stretcher.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure the pit had any physical measures, such as barriers or pit covers, in place to prevent a person falling into it.
GP Motor Works Ltd of Embankment Road, Bembridge pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
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.”