Manufacturing company fined after employee sustains serious injuries in fall from height

MezzanineA manufacturer of electronic components has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries when he fell from height.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of Genpart (UK) Limited was cutting wooden boards for a mezzanine floor at the company’s building in Thetford, Norfolk, when he slipped between the joists and fell four metres onto the concrete below.  He fractured his cheek bone and both wrists, permanently restricting their movement.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 28 November 2019 found that Genpart (UK) Limited failed to properly plan the work, failed to ensure there was safe access to the area and that measures were taken to prevent and/or mitigate a fall from height.

Genpart (UK) Limited of King Street, King’s Lynn have pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of Work at Height Regulations 2005 and have been fined £34,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,657 as well as £181 victim surcharge. The court found the culpability to be high and determined a harm category of 2 based upon a medium likelihood of harm and seriousness of harm risked being level A.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Tom McQuade said: “During 2020/2021 the main cause of a work-related fatality was falling from height.

“This incident was easily preventable and the risks could have been clearly identified and appropriately addressed by following the work at height hierarchy.  HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies that fail to implement safe systems of work”.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/; www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.pdf
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk