Fruit Farm Fined by the Health & Safety Executive

A RIDDOR reportable incident has led to an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the actions of a Kent based fruit farm.

The investigation by the HSE found that a self-employed contractor working for Paynes Stores Ltd (PSL), had accessed a door that needed to be repaired, by standing in an apple box raised by a fork lift truck.

HSE told Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court how PSL had allowed the roofing work to be carried out without any controls or specified training, on 22 December 2014.

Paynes Stores Ltd, of Swanton Farm, Bicknor, Sittingbourne Kent, pleaded 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. The company was fined a total of £18,600 and ordered to pay £9,173 in costs.

Following the hearing, Joanne Williams – HSE inspector, said:

“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.”

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Source: Health & Safety Executive