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This article was published on February 8th, 2017
A well-known bakery has been fined £2 million and ordered to pay costs of £19,609.28 after they pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 following a workplace accident.
An investigation was instigated by the HSE after one of it’s employees broke their back in fall at one of their sites. The accident left the employee off work for over a year and was unable to return to the bakery due to his injury.
The Health and Safety Executive investigation found that one of its workers slipped and fell approximately 2 metres onto a hard surface whilst maintaining one of the mixing machines. Although he had been working there since 2007 and carried out the specific job every two weeks, he still fell sustaining a compression fracture to his spine which has left him hospitalised, in pain and unable to return to work. He tried to return after a year but signed off sick for a further 6 months which resulted in his dismissal.
The HSE prosecuted the company for failing to provide regular and adequate training for the job required and also failed to provide sufficient supervision of employees working at height.
A spokesperson said: “The Health and Safety Investigation found that …… Limited routinely expected their workers to climb on top of the mixers to clean them.
“The workers were often unbalanced and would brace themselves to stop from falling.
“The workers were not adequately supervised and there had been no training on how the mixer needed to be cleaned at height.”
“This should have been prevented, falls from height is one of the biggest killer in the workplace and even falls from fairly low levels can be extremely dangerous.
“……. life has been changed forever but he his injuries could have been more severe.”
A bakery spokesman said: “We take the health and safety of all our people very seriously and are deeply saddened that on this occasion our procedures failed to protect Andrew.
“We have taken the necessary steps to prevent this happening again and will continue to review all health and safety procedures across our business.
“We have a very strong health and safety record across all of our manufacturing and distribution sites and we invest heavily in ensuring an accident free workplace for our employees, often working together with the HSE.”
Accidents can be embarrassing and stressful and we often blame ourselves when they happen but ask yourself this.. were you given the right tools and equipment for the job? Was the job risk assessed and properly supervised? were you given the proper training to do the job? are all the tools and machinery maintained and fit for purpose? If you are unsure if you are at fault or not then speak to one of our specialist solicitors who find out for you and will handle every aspect of your work accident compensation claim, providing the support and expertise you deserve.
We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your workplace injury claim.
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