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HSE Prosecution Case Study – £200,000 Fine For Working at Height Violation

Staircraft Group Limited, a carpentry and joinery firm, was fined when an employee fell 3.5 metres to the ground while working at height. The business was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £6,477.93 in expenses. We look into the circumstances of the incident.

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Carpentry Company Fined £200,000 After Workplace Fall

On June 14, 2021, the incident occurred at the company’s headquarters at Bayton Road Industrial Estate, Exhall, Coventry. The employee was cleaning office windows from an unsecured stillage on the forks of a forklift. The stillage tipped, sending the employee to the ground 3.5meters below. The worker shattered his leg and hurt his elbow.

According to the HSE inquiry, the company failed to recognise that utilising a stillage to elevate someone on the forks of a forklift was risky. Furthermore, the corporation did not provide adequate staff training on the hazards of operating at heights and did not have risk assessments in place. Finally, Staircraft Group Limited pled guilty to violating Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

What Could Have Been Done?

This may seem an extreme example of negligence. However, the inability of Staircraft Group Limited to keep its personnel safe while operating at height highlights what might go wrong when employers fail to follow HSE requirements.

Without strong training programs and a risk aware culture in place throughout your organisation, accidents will be far more likely to occur and they often happen in the blink of an eye with severe consequences for all concerned.

Employers, can fulfil their legal obligations by ensuring that work at height is adequately planned, monitored, and carried out by qualified individuals.

Furthermore, detailed risk assessments and employee training are essential for firms to assist prevent worker injuries and assure proper insurance coverage.

For additional workplace safety and risk management guidance, contact Plan Insurance today.

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