Caravan firm in court after worker injured in fall
A caravan firm has been fined after a maintenance engineer was injured in a fall from height while renovating a caravan at its premises in Silsoe, Bedfordshire.The 30 year-old from Chingford, Essex fell approximately one and a half metres when a makeshift platform collapsed during work to attach metalwork cladding to the side of a caravan.
Following the incident in February 2012, the company, Roma Caravans Limited, was prosecuted by the HSE for failing to provide a safer system of work. Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court heard that the platform comprised a wooden plank placed across a metal frame.
It gave way when the worker attempted to step down to retrieve tools. The far end of the plank swung up and struck him in the groin. He then banged his head as he fell to the floor with the table collapsing around him.
The worker appeared to have escaped relatively unscathed with bruising, but he collapsed two days later and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. He has since suffered from severe headaches and pains to his hip.
HSE established that the platform was inherently unsafe and was wholly unsuitable. The court was told the incident could have been prevented had proper equipment been provided for working safely at height.
Roma Caravans Limited of Amenbury Lane, Harpenden, Herts, was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,527 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Andrew McGill, said:“This incident was entirely avoidable, and illustrates the need for duty holders to ensure work of this nature is carefully planned and managed at all times.
“By not providing suitable equipment, Roma Caravans put the safety of a worker at risk. Appropriate and stable work platforms should always be used for any work undertaken at height.”