Agency staff were put at risk from slips, trips and falls because of a company’s safety failings, a court has heard.
Medway Magistrates’ Court fined Kent-based European Active Projects £15,000 on Tuesday January 6 after the dangers were caught on camera by a member of the public and sent to the Health and Safety Executive.
The photographs related to work carried out by the industrial and marine contracting firm at Chatham Docks in February of last year.
Unsecured, unfitted ladders
One worker was seen on a stacked container around nine metres off the ground from one end and straight above the sea at the other.
The photographs showed that there were no precautions in place to stop the worker falling or to lessen the impact of falls.
The containers should have been secured by staff operating mobile booms and staff should have been told to wear fall arrest harnesses, according to the firm’s risk assessment.
But a boom had not been found for the job and alternative operating techniques were not reviewed in its absence.
This meant that agency staff used unsecured, unfitted ladders to get to the moving containers.
Only a few weeks before, the HSE had advised the company about safety procedures, especially with regard to supervising agency staff, following a major lifting operation incident.
The firm, of Chatham Docks, Gillingham Gate, Kent, was also ordered to pay £917 costs after pleading guilty to breaking the Work at Height Regulations and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.
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Date Published: January 8, 2015
Author: David Brown