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WORKMAN FELL TO DEATH INSTALLING FALL ARREST

Major power services firm failed to manage pylon fall risk

Bilfinger Industrial Services (UK) Limited, an international engineering company, has been sentenced following the death of a worker who fell some 10m from an electricity pylon.

Vincent John Richards, aged 49, from Walsall was installing fall arrest lines for painters to use on the pylon at Great Orton, Carlisle on the 5 July 2014 when the incident happened.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Mr Richards was employed by the company as a ‘rigger’ working with a colleague preparing the pylons in readiness for painters to carry out maintenance work.

Mr Richards arrived at pylon FT37 and found that the painters had already commenced painting even though the pylon had not been rigged.

He was climbing up the pylon when he fell backwards, narrowly missing one of the painters working directly below him. Mr Richards sustained serious multiple injuries and died at the scene.

Failure to implement, monitor and enforce system of work

HSE investigators found a number of failings by Bilfinger Industrial Services (UK) Limited in the management of risks arising from work at height.

The company had established a system of work but failed to implement, monitor and enforce the system. This failing exposed their employees to the risk of death.

Bilfinger Industrial Services (UK) Limited of Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn today (17 November 2016) pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £200.000 and ordered to pay costs of £59,320.10

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Susan Ritchie said:

“The company were clearly aware of the hazards involved with pylon work and had a system in place to manage the risks. Unfortunately they failed to implement, monitor and enforce this system of work.

In addition the company failed to ensure the proper inspection and provision of safety critical personal protective equipment.”

 

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