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Norfolk Company Fined Over Safety Failings

A food company in Norfolk has been prosecuted after a worker sustained serious head injuries in an accident.

The 49 year old engineer fractured his skull and suffered partial deafness following a three meter fall.

The incident took place in October 2011 when the engineer was repairing a fault with a data logger at the company’s food manufacturing premises.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court was told that the worker was accessing the unit whilst on a free standing ladder. The ladder was positioned against the back side of the chiller and lacked foot supports.

The worker fell to the floor when the ladder slipped as he was trying to get some tools.  He banged his head on the floor.

The worker was admitted in hospital for four days.  He was unable to work for a complete month following the accident.  Even after he returned to work, he has been able to work for limited hours only as he still suffers from debilitating tinnitus.

An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the ladder was not secure.  The employer could have provided a safer alternative such as an elevated platform to work on.  According to the HSE, the accident was very much preventable.

Cranswick Country Foods admitted to breaching Health and Safety at Work Act and was ordered to pay a fine of £10,000 in addition to £11,690 in costs.

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