January 16, 2019

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Company and director sentenced after employee fractures neck in fall from height

An engineering company and its director have been fined after an employee fell from a tower scaffold, sustaining a neck fracture as a result.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told that, on 9 January 2017, an employee of Trueline Engineering Services Limited fell from a partially erected tower scaffold whilst carrying out welding work on a silo.

The HSE’s investigation found the tower scaffold had not been erected correctly, with no hand or mid-rail in place to prevent falls from height and staff had not been given training in how to properly erect the scaffold. The investigation also found both Trueline Engineering Services Ltd and its director, Paul Smith, failed to ensure the provision and safe use of equipment for work at height and did not report the incident to HSE.

Trueline Engineering Services Limited of King Street Trading Estate, Middlewich, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. The company was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

Paul Smith of George Gallimore Drive, Haslington, Crewe pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, in relation to the company’s failing of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. Paul Smith received a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

HSE Inspector Jane Carroll said after the hearing: “This case highlights the importance of following industry guidance to ensure scaffolding is erected correctly and in a safe manner so that workers using it are not placed at risk.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

A round -up of the biggest health and safety court cases from December 2018.

Barbour download: Guide to working at height

Work at any height can cause injury; a fall from a height of just one or two steps can cause serious injury.

The Regulations were amended in 2007 to extend their application to those who work at height providing instruction or leadership to one or more people engaged in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities in Great Britain.

Download your free guide from Barbour to understand: Duties of persons in control of work at height; Duties of persons undertaking work at height; General controls when working at height; Method statement for work at height; Selection of a means of access; Working platforms; Guardrails and toeboards; Ladders Mobile work platforms; Suspended access equipment; Personal suspension equipment and, Inspection of fall arrest equipment.

Barbour EHS

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