Gloucester Manufacturer In Court For Worker Fall

A Gloucester electrical products manufacturer has been fined for breaking safety legislation (Working at Height) after an employee was injured in a fall at work.

Roger Bouskill, 63, from Tuffley, was helping remove redundant plant and equipment at Mekufa (UK) Ltd when the incident happened on 28 March 2012.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard today (22 April) that Mr Bouskill was dismantling a large dis-used oven, the flue of which extended into the ceiling space. Sections of the flue were being removed using a forklift cage to gain access.

During the operation Mr Bouskill left the cage to get onto the roof of the oven. As the stack was being moved it toppled and knocked him 2.5 metres to the ground. Mr Bouskill fractured his arm and suffered concussion. He was unable to return to work for five weeks.

An investigation by HSE found there was no documented plan or risk assessment for the task, which was unsupervised, or for any of the other removal works taking place. In addition, the employee operating the fork lift truck was not trained to do so.

Mekufa (UK) Ltd of Unit 1 Permali Park, Bristol Road, Gloucester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,569.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Ian Whittles said:

“Mr Bouskill sustained a serious injury and could have died as a result of the fall.

“The dangers of working at height are well known, yet incidents of this kind occur all too often. The fall could have easily been prevented if Mekufa (UK) Ltd had assessed the risks and put simple measures in place to minimise them.

“An appropriate plan would have also ensured that those undertaking the work were appropriately supervised and competent.

“This prosecution should serve as a reminder to all companies who expect their employees to work at height of their legal duties to manage safety and provide the protection required to safeguard them from falls.”

At Acorn EHS we can assist with Safe Systems of Work we can also provide Working at Height courses including Harness Training call us on 03334 560 999 or click here for more information