A dairy manufacturer in Market Drayton has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an accident at work incident, in which a worker sustained serious injuries when he fell from height.
Manchester Crown Court heard that on 8th July 2015, an employee of Muller UK and Ireland Group LLP (Muller UK), along with the assistance of two of his colleagues, was changing the refrigeration gas of a set of chilled storage units.
All three men were carrying out the work whilst stood in the roof void of a building that housed the chilled storage units at the firm’s premises on Lake Road, Trafford Park. The worker in question was stood on a fragile roof panel when he fell. He sustained serious injuries to his head and body after falling 15 feet through the void between the chilled unit and the building shell.
An investigation into the incident by the HSE found that despite having instructed numerous employees to carry out the same work on numerous occasions previously; Muller UK had not provided the workers with any information regarding the fragile roof panels.
HSE’s investigation also found that no risk assessment was carried out by Muller UK before permitting access to the roof void. The roof panels were not clearly visible and there were no warning markings or barriers in place to prevent access to the fragile panels.
Furthermore, the company had not shared any information regarding the presence of fragile roof panels prior to work starting.
Muller UK and Ireland Group LLP, of Tern Valley Business Park, Shrewsbury Road, Market Drayton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974. the company was fined a total of £400,000 and ordered to pay £9,336.90 costs.
HSE inspector Jane Carroll said after the hearing:
“This case highlights how important it is that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is undertaken for all work at height and work within roof voids, to identify the potential for fragile panels to be present. Falls from height through fragile roofs remain a common cause of life changing or fatal injuries for individuals at work”
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Source: Health & Safety Executive