A SKIP hire firm boss has been fined £5,000 after he put an employee's life in danger by lifting him four metres off the ground in a digger bucket.

Christopher Jones was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after a concerned passer-by filmed the incident at Shadlock Skips, in Stacksteads, on May 1 last year.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard that Jones, 44, from Lumb, and an employee had been trying to remove a small piece of damaged plywood above the main shutter doors.

The court heard that no measures were put in place to prevent the worker falling from the bucket to the ground below.


The court was told much safer methods of carrying out the work were available on the site. These included attaching a man-riding cage to the front of the vehicle or simply using a ladder.

Jones previously received a warning from HSE less than two months before the incident after the same employee was witnessed riding on top of a fully laden skip wagon as it reversed into the site.

Jones, of West View Road, Lumb, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,039 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector David Myrtle said: "Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths in Great Britain.

"It’s for this reason that HSE takes work at height seriously and expects employers, such as Mr Jones, to do the same.

"He knew that raising his employee in the bucket of the telehandler was wrong, but thought that since the job would only take a minute it would be okay.

"That minute has cost Mr Jones dearly, but had the employee fallen from the bucket then the cost to him and his family would have been immeasurable.

"It’s never okay to put someone’s life in danger, no matter how long it lasts."