A die casting and injection moulding firm has been sentenced after an employee fell from one of its machines, suffering severe injuries.
Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard today (22 June) that Mr Sekou Camara had been working on top of the machine at Lesney Industries Ltd at the request of his supervisor- in order to clean the hopper, in preparation for a change of material used in the machine.
While alighting from his position at the top of the plastic injection moulding machine, Mr Camara, 49, stepped onto a set of mobile steps which then slid away, causing him to fall 1.2 meters to the concrete floor below.
He fractured his elbow, forearm and thumb and also suffered a compressed fracture to his eye socket. He spent five weeks in hospital where his elbow was plated, and arm and thumb pinned.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court Lesney Industries Ltd’s work at height risk assessment was inadequate, and its system of work used was unsafe. Mr Camara had not received suitable training for this work at height nor was this work appropriately supervised. The mobile steps used to access the machine were also not suitable for use with this work, the court heard.
Lesney Industries Limited of Norwood House, Temple Bank, Harlow, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £3000 with £1926 costs.
HSE inspector, Glyn Davies said after the hearing: “This incident was entirely foreseeable. Though serious, the injuries to this worker could have been very much worse.
“There were no suitable precautions in place at the time of the incident to prevent a fall from the top of the machine or the mobile steps, which were inadequate for providing a safe means of access.
“This prosecution should send a strong message to employers that work at height must be properly planned, appropriately supervised, and carried out safely.”
Notes to editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive 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. hse.gov.uk
- Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 – Every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned; appropriately supervised; and carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable safe, and that its planning includes the selection of work equipment in accordance with regulation 7.
- Figures show that falls from height are a major cause of injury at work in the UK, with 2895 employees suffering a major injury as a result of a fall from height in 2013/14. 406 of these were from manufacturing industries. HSE is determined to raise as much awareness as possible to the hazards and risks of working at height so that employers can take sufficient steps to minimize the serious consequences of a fall.
- HSE press releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk/