October 1, 2019

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In court

Worker seriously injured in ladder fall

Chemicals firm Vertellus Specialties UK Limited has been fined after an employee fell two metres from a ladder and suffered a serious elbow injury.

On 6 June 2018, at the company’s site in Northside, Workington, an employee was using a ladder to inspect a steam leak at height when the ladder failed and the employee fell to the ground.

The HSE’s investigation found the company had failed to ensure:

  • That work at height was properly planned and managed;
  • That equipment provided for use at height was inspected at regular intervals and was fit for use.

Vertellus Specialties UK Limited of St Ann’s Wharf, Newcastle-upon-Tyne pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £120,000 with £5,155.80 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Carol Forster said: “Work at height accidents are one of the main causes of occupational injury and death. Employers should consider if working at height can be avoided and, if work at height is undertaken, it should be properly planned and managed appropriately and all equipment should be fit for purpose.”


Watch: Highest fines and prosecutions in August 2019:

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