An international engineering company has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £60,000 after one of their employees died when he fell 30 feet from an electricity pylon.
Bilfinger Industrial Services UK Ltd were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive for serious safety failings after the accident which occurred in July 2014. Carlisle Crown Court heard how on the day of the accident, Vincent John Richards; a 49 year old man from Walsall, was working as a “rigger” preparing the pylons for painters to carry out maintenance work. When he arrived at the pylon he found that the painters had already commenced work even though the pylon they were working on had not been rigged. When Mr Richards then climbed up the pylon he fell backwards, almost colliding with one of the painters working below him. Tragically his multiple injuries were so severe that he died at the scene.
The investigation by the HSE found a range of issues in terms of the management of risks of working at height and while the company had a system of work for these types of jobs, they had failed to implement, monitor or enforce the system. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
After the investigation, HSE Inspector Susan Ritchie said: “The company was clearly aware of the hazards involved with pylon work and had a system in place to manage the risks. Unfortunately they failed to implement, monitor and enforce this system of work. In addition they failed to ensure the proper inspection and provision of safety critical personal protective equipment.”
There are clear rules and guidelines for working at height, and accidents like this shouldn’t happen. As the investigation found, the company were not implementing the system of work that had been specifically designed to avoid accidents like this taking place. If you or someone you love has been injured through a fall from height, or any other workplace injury, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Contact one of our highly experienced solicitors today for a free, no obligation discussion about your case, and let us see how we can help you get the pay out you deserve.