Two metre fall from leaning ladder costs company dearly

A malting company based in Suffolk, has been fined after an agency worker was injured when he fell from a ladder in May 2015.

Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard how the agency worker was injured when he fell approximately 2m from a ladder. He sustained two fractures to his right foot and bruising to his chest and head injuries.

The workman was checking the fill level of the malt in a container that was being loaded for export prior to closing the hopper feed. The container was fitted with a full-size fabric liner with a high level loading flap which would be zipped up once the container was full.

Ladder angle too shallow

HSE found that the company had not carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the work at height. A system of work had developed which involved propping a 4-metre long ladder against the rear of the container to gain access to the zip-up flap. The ladder was too long for this purpose and was propped at too shallow an angle.

The ladder slipped outwards at the foot causing the agency worker to fall with the ladder.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,257.