14th May 2014
A Shropshire poultry farm has been fined and a man could now make accident claims, after the worker fractured his pelvis falling nearly three metres from an unguarded platform.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Llynclys Farm Ltd following the incident outside a poultry house at the company's site at Stoke Heath Farm, Market Drayton, on 20 July 2009.
Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court heard how the 36 year-old agency worker, who does not want to be named, was walking on a temporary platform made from stacks of cages to move hens from the poultry house when he tripped.
He fell nearly three metres from the unprotected platform edge, fracturing his pelvis in two places and also suffering a collapsed lung, which would offer more than enough evidence for work compensation claims to be successful.
HSE's investigation into the incident found Llynclys Farm had identified the risk of workers falling from the platform but did not fit any edge protection to it or take any other measures to reduce the risk of falls.
Llynclys Farm Ltd, of The Mill, Morton, Oswestry, pleaded guilty today to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,276 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Janice Dale said: "Falling from height remains the most common cause of workplace deaths and those who survive are often seriously injured, as in this avoidable incident.
"Llynclys Farm had identified the potential for workers to fall from the platform but failed to act on its own risk assessment. This dangerous system of work had been in place for around five years before the incident.
"Working at height on temporary platforms made from poultry cages is common practice in the agricultural industry. It's vital that proper measures are taken to minimise the risk of falling, such as fitting suitable guard rails and toeboards."
Rates of injury at work have reduced substantially over the past decade. There have been falls in both self-reported injury and injuries reported by employers.
An estimated 603 000 workers had an accident at work in 2010/11 - 200 000 of these injuries led to over 3 days absence from work and 150 000 to absence over 7 days (LFS).
Self-reported injuries have fallen steadily year on year with average annual falls of 6 per cent since 2003/04 (LFS).
Employers reported 118 000 injuries to workers in 2010/11, 26 000 of which were classified as major injuries (RIDDOR).