Step ladder fall leads to £1,000,000 fine

A Hull-based bakery has been ordered to pay a fine of £1 Million after a self-employed contractor died when he fell from a stepladder. Hull Crown Court heard that the worker was contracted to complete electrical work at Greencore Grocery Ltd site in Hull in October 2013. The worker was wiring two motors for a new sugar paste machine – the work was situated above a machine and carried out from a stepladder. The company agreed this work activity could be completed using a stepladder, which it had provided. The employee fell from the step ladder and suffered fatal injuries. He is thought to have hit his head on a wall when he fell after standing with one foot on the top of the step-ladder, and the other on a cantilever lid, which moved, causing him to lose his balance.

The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation found that Greencore failed to properly plan the activity from the beginning including access arrangements to be made for installation of motors to use to carry out this work activity.

Greencore Grocery Ltd of Apex Park, Amsterdam Road, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate Hull, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and the company was fined £1million and ordered to pay costs of £30,000 for this step ladder fall.

Speaking of the step ladder fall after the hearing HSE inspector Denise Fotheringham said:

Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in Great Britain, the risks associated with working at height are well known.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 requires that all work at height is properly planned and appropriate access is provided. If Greencore had carried this out this death could have been prevented.