Holmfirth Firm Faces Fine After Safety Failings

The Owners Of A Business Park In Holmfirth Face A Hefty Fine After A Worker Suffered A Fractured Ankle In A Fall From Height


Safety failings at a business park in Holmfirth have led to a worker suffering a serious injury.

The 68-year-old man, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was working from a ladder when it slipped, causing him to fall. He fractured his ankle in the incident despite trying to jump clear to protect himself.

At the time of the accident, the employee had been working from heights of between four and five metres, removing heat exchange units from the roof space of a former machine shop.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted a thorough investigation into the incident and discovered a number of safety failings by Bridge Mills Ltd, which owns and manages the Bridge Mill site. For a start, there was no designated health and safety officer in the company.

On top of this, the work had not been properly organised or planned, which meant no safe system of work was in place. The correct equipment had also not been supplied.

After considering all of the evidence put forward in the hearing, Kirklees Magistrates' Court fined Bridge Mill £7,000 and ordered it to pay £1,355 in costs for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

HSE inspector Jackie Ferguson said of the case: "The worker was fortunate not to have suffered a far more serious injury - it doesn't take a fall from a great height to inflict a life-changing injury or even death. The fact that he saw the ladder slipping allowed him to mitigate the potential consequences."

She added falls from height remain the biggest single cause of workplace deaths, as well as one of the main reasons for injuries being sustained. This is why the right equipment, training or systems need to be in place and a failure to do this is "wholly unacceptable and extremely dangerous."