Firm Fined Over Accident At Work

Fall From Height


A company which supplies malt to the brewing industry has been ordered to pay almost £16,000 after a worker was injured when he fell from the forks of a forklift truck.

The prosecution follows an incident on October 6 2007 when John Weatherburn, of Berwick, was attempting to repair a roller shutter door at Simpsons Malt, of Tweed Valley Maltings, premises on the Tweedside Trading Estate, Berwick.

As he was doing so he fell from the forklift truck and suffered serious leg injuries.

The Northumberland malting firm pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety legislation and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,833 in costs as well as a £15 victim surcharge.

Health and Safety Executive principal inspector Richard Bulmer said: "Experience shows that using a simple pallet on a standard forklift truck as a means of access when carrying out maintenance or repair work is fraught with danger. Many workers have been either killed or seriously injured in this way in the past."

Investigations found the method used by workers was not sufficient to prevent an accident and instead they should have used a properly modified and fitted safety cage.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this serious work accident.

“It should have been well known to the employer that using a forklift truck in this way created an obvious risk of injury.

“Falls from height remain a major source of injury following an accident at work. It is disappointing that workers continue to get injured or killed in circumstances that have occurred on many occasions previously.

“I regularly have to help people pursue a compensation claim following an injury sustained in a work accident in circumstances that I have seen many times before.”