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Family-owned farming business fined after worker severely injured following fall from height

Family-owned farming business fined after worker severely injured following fall from height

5 January 2019 Email this article

A family-owned and run farming business has been fined at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after an employee sustained severe injuries following a fall from height.

The court was told how in November 2017, Alan Twatt (Potatoes) Ltd, asked an employee to install an electric cable through four barns at a height of approximately 4 metres. A potato box lifted by a forklift was used as a working platform. The worker fell approximately 2.5-3.5 metres and suffered a head injury as well as multiple fractures.

The HSE’s investigation found that the potato box was inherently unsafe and should not have been used with the forklift truck in any circumstances. Further, the company had failed to follow their own procedures in relation to safe working at height.

The company, based at Commerce House, South Street, Elgin, Moray pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Banff and has been fined £40,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, Norman Schouten said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by using the correct equipment, such as a scissor lift. A potato box or other makeshift equipment is never a suitable platform for working at height.”