Two employees were injured in separate accidents at work after falling from height at Diageo plants in Scotland.
The drinks company was handed an £18,000 fine for the incidents which happened within two months of each other in 2012.
The first incident took place at Burghead Maltings in Burghead, Moray, on New Year’s Day and involved Robert Edward, who was 51 at the time.
Mr Edward was found unconscious by another worker after falling almost four metres from a portable ladder while clearing a blockage in the chute of a grain silo.
After being taken to hospital, he was found to be suffering from concussion, a cut to his head and a dislocated finger. He has since returned to work.
Injury at work
The second incident happened at Glenlossie Dark Grains Plant in Thomshill, Elgin, and led to Peter Douglas sustaining an injury at work.
Mr Douglas, 43 at the time, slipped and fell two metres while standing on the engine bonnet of a loader shovel to wash the roof.
The injuries in the second incident proved to be more serious as Mr Douglas suffered from a bleed to the brain and broke a bone in his left leg. He has since returned to work but has found his short-term memory affected.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive found that Diageo had not taken sufficient steps to prevent the use of ladders in unsafe circumstances when clearing blockages at Burghead Maltings.
Elgin Sheriff Court heard that platform ladders provided for access had been difficult to move across areas of the silo floor or past the lights and ducting on the ceiling.
In examining the second workplace accident, HSE inspectors found that instructions on how to clean the shovel at the Glenlossie plant were passed from worker to worker during introductory training.
No risk assessment
No risk assessment or written instructions were provided for the machine cleaning as it was assumed it would be done solely from ground level.
Diageo Scotland, of Lochside Way, Edinburgh, admitted breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for the Burghead incident and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for the Glenlossie incident.
Niall Miller, an HSE principal inspector, said that the falls could have proved fatal.
To make a slip, trip and fall claim, you must have been injured in the last three years, and the accident must have been somebody else’s fault. The Accident Advice Helpline can only help you if your injury required medical attention.
Date Published: October 25, 2014
Author: David Brown