At Bradford Crown Court, the owner of Easydoor, Paul Halliwell, accepted he had not taken notice of guidance issued by the Door & Hardware Federation. He admitted a single charge under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He has since wound up his company. Fitter David Whittaker also pleaded guilty to one charge under the same legislation.
The HSE found that the door fell because there was a mismatch between the length of the door barrel and the distance between the supporting brackets. As a result, the end of the barrel that came free from the mountings first was only held in place by a few millimetres.
The installation problem was compounded by flimsy brackets supporting the shutter that could be easily deflected outwards by several millimetres due to the stresses created as the door was operated.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Geoff Fletcher said: "This type of incident, where the entire shutter door has fallen because the door was not securely fastened to its mountings, has occurred before and resulted in serious injuries. Installers should have the appropriate design and installation considerations to prevent it happening.
"There are several relatively simple methods that could have been used to prevent this door from coming loose from its mountings. Such methods are well known within the industry and specialist guidance on the matter is published by them and is widely available."
The DHF guide on restraining roller shutter door barrels, which is endorsed by the HSE, can be downloaded from the DHF website, www.dhfonline.org.uk .
Paul Halliwell was given 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay £2,000 toward costs after being found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. David Whittaker was also given 200 hours’ community service and told to pay £2,000 towards costs for breaching Section 7(a) of the same act.
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