Lift shaft fall breaks a mans leg

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) has been sentenced after a member of the public, Mr Hector Maclean, fell into a vacant lift shaft.  Mr Maclean, 23, fell into a vacant lift shaft after leaning on a set of double doors at street level.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that RADA had failed to carry out a basic risk assessment on a vacant lift shaft at its site with access from the street.

The doors were operated and controlled by RADA at its Central London campus. The doors were secured with a lock and key.  Mr Maclean leant against one of the doors and it opened inwards causing him to fall backwards through the double doors and into the lift shaft. He fell between five and six metres to the bottom of the lift shaft, breaking both legs.

His injuries have prevented him from attending university and working as a fashion model.

RADA, of Gower Street, London, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £1,266 in costs for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act1974.


Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states:

“It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety


Quantum Comments;

This is another example of a basic hazard which was not identified. Its worth checking with all your lift engineers that they properly barrier off and supervise lift shafts when they are working on them. Also when lifts are out of use, either temporarily or permanently, that they are properly isolated and the landing doors secured.