Manufacturer fined £9,400 after worker falls from height

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A manufacturer of steel water storage tanks and supporting towers has been fined £9,400 after a worker suffered multiple fractures following a fall from height

Cwmbran Magistrates Court heard how, on 25 October 2017, a Braithwaite Engineers Ltd employee was injured when he fell from a lorry bed whilst Working at Height and unloading the lorry at their site in Risca, resulting in multiple fractures to his head, ribs, shoulder blade and fingers, causing him to miss over five months of work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered the company had failed to provide employees with suitable and clear instructions on Working at Height and training so that employees did not access lorry beds in an unsafe manner.

Braithwaite Engineers Ltd pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £9,400 and ordered to pay costs of £1,680.75.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Will Powell, said: “Falls from vehicles can be overlooked by employers when considering risks from work at height. Simple measures would have prevented this accident.”

Meanwhile, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height has released a report urging the Government and the construction sector to carry out a major review of work at height culture.

The Working at Height report makes four primary recommendations to reduce the overall number of falls, these include; the introduction of an enhanced reporting system through RIDDOR, the appointment of an independent body that allows confidential, enhanced and digital reporting of all near misses, the extension of the Working Well Together – Working Well at Height safety campaigns and an equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process extended to the rest of the UK.

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