Company is fined after worker spotted on pallet raised by forklift truck

Company fined after breaching work at height

A company is fined after shocked onlookers spot employee working from height, standing on a pallet raised by Forklift truck .

The company was prosecuted for breaching Work at Height Regulations when a worker was spotted on the pallet. A member of the public managed to capture the terrifying debacle on video.  The worker, part of a team of three, were removing work equipment from the deck of a boat. As scaffolding had been removed, workers raised a pallet with a forklift truck, using it as a platform to remove items from the boat.

A worker then climbed onto the pallet with a heavy, motorised pressure washer. The pressure washer was then lowered to the ground.

HSE investigation

The HSE investigation found the company had failed to plan the work at height, associated with the work being completed on the boat, leaving workers at risk, with no safe method for removing equipment located on the vessel’s deck.

Tip: HSE guidance on working at height can be found at: Work at height – HSE

The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and therefore was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £5,730.40 in costs.

Preparation and Planning Essential

HSE inspector says: “This incident demonstrates why there is a need to appropriately plan and supervise work at height. Clearly, lessons had not been learnt since the company’s previous prosecution in 2015.  The risk of workers falling from the pallet and sustaining serious, possibly fatal, injuries should not be ignored. Fortunately, no workers were harmed and the reporting of the incident by a concerned member of public enabled HSE to intervene and prevent any further unsafe work at height on site.”

“Falls from height are still the biggest cause of fatal accidents involving workers.”

Suitable & Sufficient Risk Assessment

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