Medway Magistrates’ Court fined a logistics firm £11,000 and ordered to pay £1,067 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
The court heard the details of an investigation held by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into how an employee broke his leg after falling 1.5 metres from a trailer loaded shipping container.
The warehouse worker was off-loading fridges when the incident occurred. The court heard that containers brought into the depot by road were loaded on a trailer whereas, those transported by sea were processed at ground level.
A new ramp was used but it did not have any protective side guards fitted. This therefore, failed to protect the employees when he lost his balance and fell.
The worker sustained injuries which prevented him from working for three months.
After the hearing Rob Hassell said:
“This incident and the worker’s subsequent painful injury were entirely preventable. [The Company] failed to make sure the new ramp was fitted with additional edge protection, despite the fact it had two ramps with this type of essential guarding installed””.
“Employers should identify where additional edge protection should be provided to safeguard their employees and other workers and then take the necessary action.
“Falls from height remain one of the biggest factors in fatalities and serious injuries to workers throughout the country.”