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Fall From Height Leads to £40k Fine for Company

12th November 2021

A manufacturing company based in the North-East has been sentenced following an incident that saw an employee suffer serious injuries after a fall from height.

The case was heard in Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, with findings from an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlined. The Court heard that a warehouse operative was collecting products from a shelf racking using a ladder, when he slipped and fell five metres, striking his head on a pallet in the process.

The HSE concluded that the manufacturing company had failed to appropriately plan the works or to ensure that employees had safe access to the area. It was also found that no measures were in place to prevent or mitigate a fall from height.

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2004, the company was fined £40,000 and £1,620.40 in costs.

Following the hearing, Phil Chester, HSE Inspector commented:

“[The company] failed to suitably plan and carry out work at height in its warehouse to reduce the risk from working at height to as far as is reasonably practicable. Ladders should not just be the go-to piece of equipment for working at height and suitable planning should be done in order to remove the risk where possible.”

As this incident demonstrates, it is not only the scaffolding industry that requires sufficient knowledge of work at height best practice. As the leading cause of workplace accidents, falls from height can lead to life-changing consequences for both employees and employers, therefore every necessary precaution should be put in place prior to work being carried out.

To learn more about ensuring safe work at height for your workforce, speak to our team today about our Consultancy and Training services.