Man Suffers Spinal Injuries in Fall Accident at Work

Employee seriously injured after farm fall 25783

An employee was seriously injured in an accident at Market Rasen farm earlier this year, a court was told.

Lincoln Magistrates' Court was told by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutors that an unnamed 30-year-old from Scampton fractured a vertebra and had metal plates put in his back after the accident, which took place on January 17th 2013.

The man, along with a colleague, was replacing fibre cement sheets on the top of a storage building by using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP), telehandler and crawler boards.

One of the men was placed inside the building on a MEWP, while the other was on the roof's surface on crawler boards, but after an hour, the former joined the latter in an attempt to speed up the process.

However, as he did this, he accidentally fell three metres to the ground and although he landed feet-first, it was his back that bore the brunt of the impact, resulting in extensive spinal injuries that left him in hospital for a prolonged period.

The HSE later established this was a pre-planned method of work sanctioned by his employer Timmins Engineering and Construction, despite the fact it was described by investigators as "inherently unsafe" and did not mitigate potential risk factors.

For not putting in place a proper risk assessment and failing to plan work at height effectively, Timmins Engineering and Construction was fined £4,000 and told to pay prosecution costs totalling £985 after it pleaded guilty to a joint breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Copeman said, "The risk of serious or even fatal injury is high and eminently foreseeable with this type of work and it is vital that the correct equipment and methods are in place.

"The company eventually got it right by working from inside the building and avoiding the need to physically go onto the roof, but it is sad that it took a serious incident before this happened."

By Chris Stevenson