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Tue May 11 2021

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£900k fine for step ladder fall

7 Dec 16 Volvo Group UK has been fined £900,000 after an employee was seriously injured falling from a step ladder.

The worker fell because the anti-slip feet of the ladder were worn out and, although it was not Volvo’s property, it should have ensured that the ladder was checked and fit for purpose.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how a worker was servicing a large delivery truck and repairing the driver’s access rope for the cab when he fell, striking his head and losing consciousness. He was placed in a medically induced coma for two-weeks. He still suffers from ongoing complications and has been unable to return to work.

At the time of the incident on 17th September 2015, Volvo UK had not trained its staff to select, inspect and use access equipment for work at height.

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Volvo Group UK Limited, Wedgnock Lane, Warwick, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £900,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,820.28, with a £150 victim surcharge.

HSE inspector Nick Wright said: “This worker suffered life changing injuries that could have been prevented by simple health and safety precautions. For two weeks his family was told to prepare for the worst as he was placed in an induced coma to help manage the swelling on his brain.

“This case is not about banning ladders, on many occasions they are the right equipment to use when working at height, it is about companies ensuring they properly maintain their work at height equipment and train their workers on how to inspect them and select the correct tools for the job. As this case shows, even a fall from a relatively small height can have devastating consequences.”

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