Lack of Ladder Safety Training results in fall from ladder and a hefty fine.
A businessman in Lancashire, has been fined after one of his employees broke his back falling off a ladder. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Michael Wilson following the incident at Farington, Leyland, in March 2010.
South Ribble Magistrates' Court in Leyland heard that the man, who has asked not to be named, had climbed up a ladder at the commercial vehicle garage to reach the release mechanism for a lorry cab.
The employee fell to the ground when the ladder slipped, causing him to break a vertebrae in his spine. He is still unable to return to work, nearly a year after the incident.
The HSE investigation found the ladder had missing feet at both ends, the bottom rung was damaged and it appeared to have been cut off at the top.
Michael Wilson, trading as M Wilson Commercials, admitted breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to make sure the ladder was well maintained. He was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,000 on 2 February 2011.
Matt Lea, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:
"One of Mr Wilson's employees was badly injured because he was given an unsafe ladder to use. It should have been checked in advance to make sure it was suitable.
"The employee had not received any training on working at height or with ladders, despite regularly needing to do it as part of his job. He therefore simply used the nearest available ladder.
"Sadly, this worker is just one of hundreds of people who are injured every year as a result of falling from ladders. Falling a short distance can still result in someone being seriously injured."
On average, 12 people a year die after falling from ladders in British workplaces, and more than 1,200 suffer major injuries.
The British Ladder Association one day training course on the safe use and inspection of ladders is available at all of our depots, please contact us to book your course.