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Climbing warehouse racking results in serious fall

Climbing warehouse racking results in serious fall

31 January 2012 Email this article

A Hertfordshire company which designs and manufactures shop fixtures and displays has been fined after a worker fell and fractured his pelvis.  

On 3 November 2010, Denis Cronin, 47, a production assistant from Baldock, was dismantling racking at a temporary warehouse Benchmark Fabrication Ltd had been using in Hunting Gate, Hitchin.

He was straddling one of its beams when it splayed, causing him to fall two metres onto a wooden pallet below. Mr Cronin’s pelvis was fractured in three places, he was in hospital for a week and took a further three months to fully recover.   An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Cronin and his colleague had been told by their manager to use the zig-zags in the uprights of the warehouse racking as a ladder and also that method was standard practice at the company.   At Hertford Magistrates’ Court, Benchmark Fabrication Ltd of Jubilee Road, Letchworth, Hertfordshire admitted breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £2,923.50 in costs.  

HSE Inspector, Graham Tompkins, said: "Climbing warehouse racking is extremely dangerous, the managers at Benchmark should have been aware of this and provided the appropriate equipment - in this case a set of library steps or a small self supporting tower scaffold. "If they were unsure, there is plenty of advice and guidance on how to dismantle this racking safely on HSE’s own website. "HSE will take action against employers who break the law by failing to provide their employees with the necessary training and equipment to do their job safely."   Latest statistics for Hertfordshire show that in 2008-2010 two people were killed and 60 suffered a major injury while at work.