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    FALL FROM STEPLADDER TRIGGERS £900,000 FINE

    Workman fell small distance from uninspected equipment

    The national truck, bus and plant division of Volvo Group UK Limited has been fined £900,000 after a workman fell from a step-ladder and suffered head injuries in September 2015.

    Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how the workman was servicing a large delivery truck and repairing the driver access rope for the cab when he fell, striking his head and losing consciousness.

    He was placed in a medically induced coma for two-weeks and still suffers from ongoing complications. He has been unable to return to work.

    HSE investigators found that the step-ladder used was damaged and the anti-slip feet on the ladder were worn. The ladder was not the property of the company and had not been maintained or checked to ensure it was suitable for use.

    At the time of the incident the company had not trained their staff to select, inspect and use access equipment for work at height.

    Prosecution is “not about banning ladders”

    Volvo Group UK Limited of Warwick, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £900,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5820.28, with a £150 victim surcharge.

    HSE inspector Nick Wright said,

    “This worker suffered life changing injuries that could have been prevented by simple health and safety precautions. For two weeks his family was told to prepare for the worst as he was placed in an induced coma to help manage the swelling on his brain.

    This case is not about banning ladders, on many occasions they are the right equipment to use when working at height, it is about companies ensuring they properly maintain their work at height equipment and train their workers on how to inspect them and select the correct tools for the job.

    As this case shows, even a fall from a relatively small height can have devastating consequences.”

     

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