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Engineering firm in court over worker’s fall

Date:
2 December 2014

An engineering company has been fined for safety breaches after an employee was seriously injured when he fell more than four metres while dismantling a recycling cabin.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court today (1 Dec) heard Ebbsfleet Engineering Services Ltd had been employed to dismantle a recycling line from premises on the Telford Way Industrial Estate in Kettering.

Part of the line included a cabin built on four-metre high metal stilts, the walls of which had already been taken off to allow for the removal of hopper bins inside. As 45-year-old Ian Cartwright, of Stourbridge, was helping to lift the hoppers from the cabin floor, one moved unexpectedly and knocked him off balance and he fell over the edge to the concrete floor below.

He punctured a lung, broke eight ribs, a shoulder and his collarbone. He was off work for four months but is now back working with the company.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that although operatives were using harnesses and lanyards when stationary and working, nothing was in place to prevent them from falling when moving around the floor and edges of the cabin area, for example edge protection or a safety running line.

Ebbsfleet Engineering Services Ltd, of Whitewall Road, Rochester, Kent, was fined £9,000 with costs of £859 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing HSE inspector Sam Russell said:

“This was an avoidable incident and demonstrates the importance of risk assessments being carried out and appropriate control measures put in place.

“There should be no complacency when it comes to planning high risk activity such as this.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace   health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 
  2. Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
  3. HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

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