The lift shaft at the Nursing Home had stopped between the upper and lower floor. A lift engineer was summoned and told the Company Director there was an issue with the access platform but that, as before, a screwdriver could be used to facilitate opening the door of the lift.
The Nursing Home Company allowed its employees to continue to use the lift in these circumstances. Subsequently, an employee used a screwdriver to open the lift, she intended entering the lift backwards, and in doing so fell approximately four metres to the ground as the platform had not been brought up to the landing.
The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive led to a prohibition notice being served on the operation of the lift by use of the screwdriver to override the door locking mechanism when the lift was still faulty but energised. Whilst the access platform was defective and awaiting a new part, the access platform was not safe to use.
The Company plead guilty to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and were fined £50,000.