Water Firm Fined Over Stop-Log Fall

Man Injured In Work Accident


Essex-based Eimco Water Technologies Ltd has been fined £12,000 over an incident in which a worker fractured his pelvis when heavy equipment fell on top of him.

Grzegorz Trafisz was working with two components positioned 0.6 metres above the ground, on axle stands normally used to support cars.

When one of the stop-logs became unsupported, it fell on the 25-year-old contractor, fracturing his pelvis.

The incident happened at Marchwood Power Station, Southampton, in July 2008.

Eimco Water Technologies Ltd was fined after pleading guilty to breaking health and safety rules at Southampton Magistrates' Court. The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £3,661.40.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the company had failed to provide a safe environment. Risks had not been assessed, the equipment used was not suitable for the job, and the company had failed to carry out its own assembly instructions, the report concluded.

James Powell, and HSE inspector, said the incident could have been easily avoided. He urged companies to provide a safe working environment for all staff and ensure equipment was used properly.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth, an expert in accidents at work from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “Falls from height and injuries caused by falling object remain a major category of injury following an accident at work. As such, employers need to ensure that risks are fully assessed and steps taken to reduce the risk of injury or death in a work accident.

“I welcome the fine imposed following this serious accident and hope that it will encourage other employers to improve the health and safety of workers.

“Sadly, all too often, I have to assist workers pursue their compensation claim following injuries they have sustained in an accident at work. In many such cases, the accident could very easily have been avoided.”