Working at height leads to prosecution

A steel fabrication company has been fined £8,000 after employees working at height fell two metres from the forks of a telehandler.

The workers of Eagle Structural Ltd were dismantling an unwanted shipping container at Great Carlton, Lincolnshire on 7 October 2019.

Operatives were working in an unsecured non-integrated working platform when it fell from the forks of a telehandler. One employee suffered a broken arm and fractured elbow and has been told that he will never regain a full range of movement in his arm. The second employee suffered internal bruising.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the non-integrated working platform was not compatible with the telehandler and that it had not been properly secured to prevent it falling.

Working at height
Working at height requires careful planning (stock image)

Eagle Structural Ltd of Lincolnshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(b)(i) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005. At Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on 1 July 2022, the company was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,497.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Tim Nicholson said:

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Working at height requires careful planning and the use of suitable equipment.  A risk assessment should be undertaken as part of the planning and detail the controls required to ensure workers’ safety.  Any worker involved in an activity at height must be competent to carry out the task and be proficient in using the equipment provided. 

If you require advice on health and safety in your workplace, please contact one of the Ashbrooke team.

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