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Crate and forklift combination leads to fall

21 Nov 12 Wrong equipment selection was once again at the heart of an industrial accident that resulted in prosecution yesterday.

A Leicester door-fitting firm has been fined after an employee was injured when he fell from a wooden crate fixed to a forklift truck as a makeshift aerial work platform.

The 39-year-old man from Enderby, Leicester, fractured his wrist, heel, ankle and elbow when he fell nearly five metres while fitting a roller shutter door at a farm in West Firsby, Lincoln.

He needed an operation on his heel and was unable to work for about three months after the incident on 2 September 2011. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted his employer, Multi Industrial Doors Ltd (MIDL), of Burbage, for failing to properly plan work at height.

Lincoln Magistrates' Court heard yesterday (20 November) that on arrival at the farm, the employee and his colleague tied a wooden crate to a forklift truck using a strap from their vehicle. The employee was then lifted five metres to install a motor on the wall. As he turned to pick up tools, the crate tipped, he fell to the ground below and the crate fell on top of him.

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Multi Industrial Doors Ltd, of Sapcote Road, Burbage, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The firm was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,870 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Copeman said: "The risk of serious injury was high and foreseeable. Using the wrong equipment to work at height can lead to falls and the likelihood of serious head or back injuries. These types of injuries can lead to construction workers being unable to work as well as causing a significant reduction in quality of life for the injured person.

"Work at height should always be properly planned and the correct equipment provided to ensure the job is carried out safely."

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