Undertaking a risk assessment correctly before working from a height is imperative to ensure employees are not in any danger.
Many hazards are apparent when working in a warehouse, so it’s no wonder companies are handed a hefty fine when health and safety codes are ignored.
Last year, falls from a height accounted for the highest amount of fatal injuries and seven per cent of non-fatal accidents in the workplace, with over 43,000 workers in the UK reporting falling from a height.
One of these was an employee from luxury bedroom furniture company, And So To Bed LTD, which was fined £113,000 after health and safety breaches resulted in one of its employees being injured in a fall.
The worker, who was in the warehouse, fell around seven feet from a makeshift mobile elevated working platform. The platform was open-sided and attached to a forklift truck. The employee sustained injuries to his knee and face, however the incident could have been life-changing or even resulted in death.
An investigation was undertaken right away by Environmental Heath officers working for WDDC which found that the company had poor health and safety practices including insufficient risk assessments. There was also inadequate personal protective equipment provided for employees and no safe system to address the risk of the employees falling from the platform.
A health and safety audit report dating back to 2006 found the makeshift platform was ‘unacceptable’, and although a safer system was purchased by the company, the dangerous platform was still being used.
The company was fined by Poole Magistrate’s Court for breaches of Sections 2(1) and 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) of the management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
At Phoenix, we believe that employers should always be aware of their duty to protect the health and safety of their employees. Good practices make good business sense and this accident could have been easily avoided if the correct procedures were in place and the makeshift platform was removed from the warehouse.