York brewery fined £45k after trap door fall

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Health and safety breach: A brewery has been fined after a man fell through an open cellar door at the Last Drop Inn (image: Adam Bruderer, Flickr)
Health and safety breach: A brewery has been fined after a man fell through an open cellar door at the Last Drop Inn (image: Adam Bruderer, Flickr)

Related tags: York

A York brewery has been ordered to pay a fine of £44,600 after a man sustained life-changing injuries when he fell down an open trap door.

Failures to address health and safety issues were deemed to have taken place at the Last Drop Inn on Colliergate.

York Brewery Co was convicted of failures to address serious health and safety breaches at York Magistrates’ Court on 25 September.

While making a delivery on 13 July 2017, a man fell 5ft down into another cellar and sustained injuries to his knees, arms and ribcage.

His injuries left him unable to work for three months, including six weeks where he could not drive.

Hefty fine

The company was ordered to pay £39,480 in fines, costs of £4,972.54 and a £170 surcharge, reaching a total of £44,622.54.

There were no physical barriers to prevent members of staff falling into the lower cellar if the door, which took up the width of the passage, was left open.

Staff using the cellar would inform the rest of the team they were in there and leave the door open until they had exited.

The City of York Council inspected the site on 6 September  2017 and noted one safety chain and a danger sign. The safety chain was not connected across the corridor rendering it ineffective and there was no chain on the other side of the door.

After the incident, equipment in and below the passage was moved and the trap door sealed shut.

Life-changing injuries

A City of York Council spokesperson said: “This was a serious breach of health and safety, which resulted in the driver sustaining life-changing injuries.

“It was a miracle that no one else was seriously hurt or injured before this incident took place.

“Thanks to the council’s public protection team’s vigilance, these issues have been identified and customers protected.”

The spokesperson added the council gives advice which, if not complied with, can lead to legal action, and welcomed customers to report concerns. 

Related topics: Health & safety

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