Henzell Enterprise Ltd was building a steel framed agricultural building at East Marsh Farm in Goxill, North Lincolnshire when the incident occurred in October 2013.
Scunthorpe Magistrates’ Court heard this week how two of Henzell Enterprise Ltd’s workers fell approximately three metres when the mobile work platform they were working in failed. The two men received serious injuries though have since returned to work.
A steel frame for the building had been erected and work had started on installing the roof beams. On 24th October 2013, the two workers were fixing roof beams in place from inside a raised man-riding basket fitted to a forklift telehandler.
The basket attachment failed and along with the workers it fell around three metres to the ground below, both men suffered broken bones and internal injuries.
The Health & Safety Executive established that the basket had not been secured correctly to the forks of the telehandler.
HSE told the court the company had failed to ensure the safety of its employees, in that work at height was not properly planned, appropriately supervised, or carried out in a safe manner. In particular the company had failed to provide appropriate equipment for work at height.
By using a telehandler with a removable basket the company increased the risk to workers. The telehandler was also being used to lift materials which required the man-riding basket to be removed and replaced frequently.
Henzell Enterprises Ltd of Elyhaugh Farm, Long Framlington, Morpeth was fined £5,000 with £10,147 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE inspector David Stewart said after the hearing: “It was the responsibility of the company, to ensure that work at height was planned and carried out in a safe manner. Two workers suffered serious injury as a result of the use of inappropriate work equipment which significantly increased the risk of an accident.
“I hope employers take note of this case and ensure that work at height, including the selection of appropriate equipment is planned in detail and managed closely so as to prevent accidents to workers.”