Company fined after employee sustains serious injuries in fall from height

As the trade association and training body for the safety netting and temporary safety systems industry, FASET aims to keep right up to date with the latest news from around the construction industry.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety, has released the following item about a serious fall from height. FASET’s aim is to eradicate accidents that occur while working at height. We do this through expert quality guidance and training, routinely collaborating with other trade organisations dedicated to worker safety.

A North-East manufacturer of artificial trees, plants and flowers has been sentenced after an employee suffered serious injuries when he fell from height.

Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard how a warehouse operative was gathering products from shelf racking. The products were stored in boxes, unwrapped on pallets up to four bays high. Access to the racking was gained by using a ladder and then either dropping the items or carrying them down to the ground. During this work, the operative slipped from the ladder and fell approximately five metres, striking his head on a pallet as he fell and sustaining a head injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Treelocate (Europe) Limited had failed to properly plan the work and had failed to ensure there was safe access to the area and that measures were taken to prevent and/or mitigate a fall from height.

Treelocate (Europe) Limited of Belford Industrial Estate, Belford, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £40,0000 with £1620.40 costs by Newcastle Magistrates Court.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Chester said: “Treelocate (Europe) Ltd 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.”

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