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    BUILDING OCCUPIER FINED OVER ROOF CLEANING DANGERS

    Workman required to use broom to balance four metres from the ground

    Hedon Salads Ltd has been prosecuted after a workman cleaning and repainting greenhouse gutters lost his footing and fell through the glass roof in August 2010. Hull Magistrates heard the injured man was in team of employees tasked with working on the gutters of 20 greenhouses at the 30-acre site where tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are cultivated.

    The team were instructed to walk heel to toe along the gutters and use a long-handled brush to steady themselves against the glazing bars. No equipment was provided or instruction given to protect them against a fall. The workman was completing a short length of paintwork when his foot went through the glass and he fell through the fragile roof.

    Incident could have been prevented by a lightweight walking frame

    Hedon Salads Ltd, of Newport, Brough, which employs more than 100 people, was fined £12,500 with £3921 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

    After the hearing, HSE Inspector Andrew Gale said:

    “This employee was extremely lucky not to have suffered more severe injuries, or even lost his life, in a fall of over four metres. It could have easily been prevented by providing the proper equipment, such as a lightweight walking frame.

    This case highlights how important it is for employers to identify the risks involved in working at height, particularly near fragile materials, and taking the necessary steps to reduce those risks and prevent falls.

    Falls are the second highest cause of fatal incidents in agriculture and falls through fragile material account for half of these deaths.”

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