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    MODIFIED PODIUM STEPS CAUSE FALL FROM HEIGHT

    Firm failed to select and correctly assemble with necessary training

    A tower crane hire company has been fined after a worker fell 2m when the podium steps he was working from toppled over in November 2017.

    Cambridge Magistrates heard that the injured man was welding metal components whilst working at height on the podium steps which had been taken from another factory. The steps toppled over, causing the employee to fall approximately 2m to the floor and fracture two vertebrae.

    Stabiliser bars not fitted

    HSE investigators found that the company failed to follow its internal procedures, and did not carry out a risk assessment nor determine a safe system of work.

    The podium steps had been modified with the addition of incorrect feet, contrary to the manufacturer instructions.

    Stabiliser bars had also not been fitted and workers had not been trained in their correct use.

    • London Tower Crane Hire & Sales Limited – of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £54,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £1,544.00.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector, Parmjit Gahir, said:

    “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to adequately plan its work, and put basic safeguards in place.

    The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to select and correctly assemble access equipment, along with implementing the necessary training, instruction and supervision to prevent such falls occurring.

    Podium steps are a recognised safe solution for working at height however, if they are used incorrectly, they can become a danger themselves.”

     

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