Fruit farm fined for safety failings at farm

A Kent based fruit farm has been fined for safety failings after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), visited the site following a RIDDOR reportable incident.

Following this reported incident an investigation by the HSE found that on 22 December 2014 a self-employed contractor working at PSL, accessed a door for repair by standing in an apple box raised at height by a fork lift truck.

Sevenoaks Magistrates Court heard that PSL had been allowing roof work to be undertaken with no controls or training specific to the tasks.

Paynes Stores Ltd, of Swanton Farm, Bicknor, Sittingbourne Kent, was fined a total of £18,600 and ordered to pay a further £9,173 in costs after pleading guilty to breaches of Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 9(3) of the Working at Height Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Joanne Williams commented: “Death and serious injury following falls from the edge of roofs or through fragile materials are all too common and proper planning is vital to ensure the work is carried out safely and the correct precautions are identified and used.”

“I hope this prosecution makes it clear to employers that they need to properly manage the risks of working at height and that HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: 
  3. HSE news releases are available at

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