Company didn’t provide safe equipment or necessary training…
A yacht repair company based in Southampton has been prosecuted after one of their employees sustained injuries after he fell while working on a raised yacht.
The 26-year-old accident victim was carrying out his duties on a platform when the support planks below him collapsed and caused him to fall almost two metres. He sustained severe bruising to his ribs and was unable to work for a month after the accident.
The subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive determined that the yacht repair company was culpable for the accident as a result of two safety breaches.
Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that the accident victim’s employer had failed to provide him with the necessary training on how to prepare safe staging and working platforms around the yachts he was working on. The HSE also discovered that the staging that the man did use was in a faulty condition with two missing support bars that caused the sides of the platform to move apart provoking the collapse. The court was told that both of these oversights could have led to an even worse accident especially in a highly dangerous industry that involves working at heights. HSE Inspectors concluded that if the company had given the man the necessary training and had carried out inspections on their equipment then the accident might well have been prevented.
The yachting company was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,805 after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE inspector, Alec Ryan commented after the hearing:
“This incident was avoidable. The company should have recognised the risks and taken the measures necessary to prevent the working platform from collapsing.
“You don’t have to fall from a great height to lose your life. Workers should not have to suffer preventable injuries because simple steps have not been taken to manage obvious workplace risks. It is vital all work is properly planned, assessed and then implemented.
“Work at height is inherently dangerous and if not managed properly can result in serious injury or even death. This hearing serves as a further reminder of the serious risks posed when employees work at height.”
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