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Fine for Workplace Accident due to the Lack of a Risk Assessment

A Suffolk company has been fined for a workplace accident due to the lack of a risk assessment that led to an agency worker sustaining multiple injuries.

In May 2015, the unnamed agency worker was working at Paul´s Malt Limited at the company´s West Knapton malting factory, near Malton in North Yorkshire. As part of his duties, the worker was required to check the fill level of the malt in a container prior to closing the hopper feed.

The container was fitted with a full-size fabric liner that had a high level loading flap. In order to determine whether the container was full, the worker had to climb two metres up a ladder at the rear of the container. Once the container was full, the zips of the loading flap then had to be closed.

Unfortunately, a system of work had developed at the factory that involved propping a 4 metre long ladder at a shallow angle against the rear of the container. Due to the angle at which it had been placed, the ladder slipped outwards as the worker scaled it – causing him to fall approximately two metres.

The agency worker has taken to hospital, where he was treated for two fractures to his right foot, bruising to his chest, and head injuries. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the cause of the accident and found that no risk assessment had been conducted to determine a safe way of checking the fill level of the container.

HSE inspectors prosecuted Paul´s Malt Limited trading as Boortmalt for a workplace accident due to the lack of a risk assessment in breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Last week, at Scarborough Magistrates´ Court, the company pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined £100,000 plus costs of £2,257.