Garage fined after customer falls into pit

A garage-owning mechanic has been fined after a customer was injured picking up his car.

The court heard the injured man’s car was parked in front of a vehicle inspection pit. The customer was being shown a fitted part when he went to walk around the garage owner and fell into the pit.

The court was told the owner tried to warn the customer but his warning shout was apparently not heard.

The customer suffered two spinal fractures, a slipped disc, badly sprained ankle as well as cuts and swelling.

Safety steps needed

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the garage owner had allowed a member of the public into an area with an open pit without doing enough to prevent a fall.

Farhad Mashinchi trading as Gold Star Vehicle Maintenance accepted he had broken the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Mr Mashinchi was fined £1,800 with £880 costs.

The HSE said there was a significant risk of serious injury or death when working with an open inspection pit. It slammed the garage owner’s trust in verbal warnings and floor markings. The HSE said he could easily have taken reasonably practical steps to prevent falls such as covering the inspection pit or putting a barrier around it.

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