Illuminations company fined after employee fall
A Chesham illuminations company has been fined by the HSE after their failings led to an employee breaking his arm and losing several teeth when he fell from a ladder.
Ryszard Zolyniak, aged 44 at the time, was fixing bunting outside a supermarket to celebrate the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when the incident occurred at Chesham High Street on 11 April 2011.
He and a colleague from Lamps and Tubes Illuminations Ltd were using a ladder for the job when he slipped, falling five metres to the ground below, suffering five broken bones in his wrist, a lost tooth and a trapped nerve in his leg.
The court heard that Lamps and Tubes Illuminations Ltd director had attended the site and advised Mr Zolyniak and his co-worker to use the ladder - even though the company’s own written procedures state that the using a ladder is unnecessary when there are safer, more suitable ways of working available – such as using a cherry picker.
The company was fined £5,950 and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs after admitting breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
After the hearing HSE Inspector Stephen Faulkner said:"Falls from height pose a frequent risk for Lamps and Illuminations Ltd employees due to the nature of the company’s work. So the bunting project should have been better managed.
"The company had in place a written set of procedures, which included not using ladders if another more suitable method of working at height was available. However, these were seemingly overlooked on the day of the incident, resulting in painful injuries for Mr Zolyniak that could have been avoided."