Safety Signs News

Warning signs may have stopped litter picker falling into well

13th January 2011 | Warning Signs

Posted by Jason Nicholls.

Warning signs could have alerted a Mansfield District Council employee that the mesh covering of a dry well was not solid enough to carry his weight.

The council has been fined £5,000 after one of its workers fell six metres down a dry well while picking up litter from a yard.

Mansfield Magistrates' Court heard how three workers were picking up litter that had been collected between the metal grid and mesh cover over the well in the White Lion Yard in the town in April 2009.

While two workers removed the grid, the third stood on the mesh, thinking it was solid underneath. It wasn't and he fell into the well, dislocating his elbow and suffering cuts to his head, arms and leg. He was off work for six months.

The court heard that the council had failed to ensure that the work was properly planned or carried out safely.

It pleaded guilty to breaching a regulation of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was ordered to pay £5,700 in costs in addition to the fine.

HSE inspector Stuart Pilkington, said the man was "extremely lucky to survive".

"The work in White Lion Yard needed to be properly planned as although it appeared to be quite straightforward, workers cleaning the well were clearly at risk from falling into it.

"Falls from height are the biggest causes of workplace deaths and it's crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out to protect staff from these risks."

In 2010, over 4,000 employees suffered major injuries after falls from height at work, the regulator said.ADNFCR-2754-ID-800339590-ADNFCR


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