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Firm must take the fall and pay £6,100

A man was put in a coma for two weeks after falling at work while trying to remove an extractor fan.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Spray-Craft Coating Ltd for safety failures after one of its employees fell nearly three meters onto the concrete floor of the firm's spray paint plant.

Spray-Craft Coating of Irchester, Wellingborough was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,100 costs by Wellingborough magistrates court on June 5.

The firm was fined after pleading guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to take sufficient measures to prevent falls in their workplace and failing to ensure work was properly planned.

The 57 year-old man's injuries sustained on May 19, 2007, meant he had to be put in an induced coma for two weeks and was hospitalised for two months.

HSE inspector for Northamptonshire Peter Snelgrove said 'This case, involving a small company of three employees, illustrates why risks should always be properly assessed. This incident could have been avoided, and a man not seriously injured if Spray-Craft had put a safe working plan in place.'

'It is totally unacceptable that so many lives of employees who work from height continue to be put at risk. All companies must assess the risks from work that they are undertaking at height, ensuring that the work is planned properly and appropriate measures are taken so that workers are not exposed to risk of falling.

Falls from height remain the most common kind of accident causing fatal injuries. Last year, 45 people died and more than 3000 suffered a serious injury after a fall from height in the workplace.
9 June 2008

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