Death of a Contractor

The death of a contractor has resulted in a large fine for Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited.  The self-employed contractor fell from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) and later died from his injuries after a conveyor was started.

In March 2015, the contractor had been working at the height of nearly five metres installing revised fire detection equipment.  At the same time, maintenance workers of the company started an overhead conveyor. They were unaware that the contractor was working nearby. The movement caused the MEWP to tip over, and the contractor fell to the factory floor, and later died from his injuries.

The HSE investigation found there was no effective control or supervision in place to prevent the conflicting work tasks from being undertaken at the same time. The Compay, Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were £700,000, with costs of £11,466.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said:

This is a tragic case where the incident could have been prevented if the company had planned and controlled the work properly.

How well do you manage contractors working on your site?

How well do you manage different (potentially conflicting) work tasks?

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