Archive for August, 2014

Fine Issued to Firm after Fall from Height Results in Injuries on Dairy Farm

August 26th, 2014 | By licnewsadmin

The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted a firm in County Durham after it was found that  safety failings resulted in a fall from a height on a dairy farm.

The accident occurred on the 6th September 2013, when Simon Atkinson, forty-one of Dipton in County Durham was working on the farm. He was offloading empty milk bottles at the Lanchester Dairies plant from a truck into a lower storage area, which was one metre sixty centimeters below ground level.

Whilst carrying out this task alone, Mr Atkinson lost his footing and fell into the storage area, landing on a hard concrete floor below. He sustained fractures to his eye socket, collar bone and a broken rib. He was also bleeding internally in his skull.

Mr Atkinson  was brought to hospital, where he was put into an induced coma so that the medical team could remove a blood clot that had developed on the side of his brain. He has also been unable to return to work since the accident, and is waiting for further operations to repair some of the spinal damage that he sustained in the fall.

An investigation into the circumstances of the accident was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive. They uncovered that the company had not taken any  precautionary measures against falls on the farm, even though a risk assessment that they had carried out identified it as a potential risk. Lanchester Dairies Ltd were subsequently charged under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The case was heard at the Peterlee MAgistrates Court, where the firm pleaded guilty to the charges.

The firm had previously had a barrier across the doorway into the storage area to prevent a fall from a height, but that was removed two years prior to the accident and was never replaced.

The firm was ordered to pay £10,000 in fines in addition to costs of £1,690. HSE Inspector Michael Kingston said after the hearing that the accident could have been prevented had the company implemented adequate safety procedures to prevent such falls.

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