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CONTRACTOR AND CLIENT FINED AFTER FLT FALL

Four workers seriously injured in fall from makeshift work at height platform 

Two companies have been fined after four workers were injured in a 3.5m fall at a vegetable processing and packaging site.

HSE investigators found that in September 2008 the workers were removing fire damaged ceiling panels using a forklift truck together with a man-riding cage.

During removal of the final panels, all four workers stepped onto one panel which gave way. All suffered a combination of broken arms, femurs and collarbones. One worker is still unable to work as a result of this incident.

Assessment and supervision inadequate

Workers employed by J & P Recruitment Ltd regularly worked at the site owned by West End Cold Stores Ltd in Spalding, Lincs.

J & P Recruitment pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. West End Cold Stores of Rainwalls Lane, Sutterton, Boston pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the same Act.

Spalding Magistrates’ Court fined J & P Recruitment £5,000 and ordered them to pay costs of £800. West End Cold Stores was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £1,862 in costs.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Jo Anderson said:

“All four workers involved in this incident suffered extremely serious injuries and could have been killed. They were employed to carry out tasks on the factory floor, and had no experience in working at height.

No risk assessment was carried out and no proper supervision took place whilst the ceiling panels were being removed – a serious failing on the part of both companies.”

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