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Firm Fined After Worker's Plunge

Workers Fall From Height


An accident which left a worker immobilised for more than six weeks has cost his employers £8,000.

Barry Derbyshire, 61, fell more than two metres from a scaffolding tower resulting in one of his vertebra being crushed and the other fractured.

Mr Derbyshire, from Cheadle, Staffordshire, fell on August 18, 2009, while carrying out maintenance work on a machine used to make exhaust pipes.

The job was regularly carried out on three similar machines by a number of people.

Before the accident Mr Derbyshire, who was employed by Klarius UK Ltd, had been bending down to try and find an oil leak when he stood up and may have overbalanced and fallen, Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates Court heard.

No safety rail was placed on one edge of the scaffolding as it would prevent workers from reaching the machines, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed.

Alongside the fine Klarius UK Ltd, based at Brookhouses Industrial Estate, Cheadle, Staffordshire, was also ordered to pay costs of £1,892 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth at Law Firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I welcome the fines imposed following this serious work accident. Falls from height remain a major category of both serious and fatal injuries following an accident at work.

"Employers need to carefully assess the risk of workers being injured or killed in a work accident caused by a fall and then take suitable and sufficient steps to eradicate those risks."