A worker suffered life-changing injuries when he fell from the roof of a van, a court has heard.
Alan Campbell, employed by Anglian Windows Limited, was loading an access platform on to the roof of the van when the incident happened on 19 June 2012.
The 47-year-old hit his head during the fall, which caused two bleeds to the brain and meant he was kept in an induced coma for over three weeks.
Breach of safety
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the accident at work found the glazing company had failed to provide sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision to members of staff who were loading and unloading equipment from van roofs.
It was also entirely reliant on an instruction which was not properly communicated and was not monitored to check compliance.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service also lent a hand with the investigation.
Appearing at Livingston Sheriff Court, Anglian Windows Limited, of Anson Road, Norwich, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £10,000.
Mr Campbell had to have a metal plate inserted to reshape his face as a result of the compression to his forehead. He now suffers epilepsy and is unable to drive.
Dangers of loading and unloading
Loading and unloading of materials and equipment from van roofs should always be properly planned and appropriate control measures should be identified and employed.
HSE inspector Ritchie McCrae said Anglian Windows Limited failed to control the risk of falls from van roofs. He described the incident as entirely preventable.
But falls are not the only danger when it comes to loading and unloading. Other ways employees working with vehicles can suffer injuries include:
- Muscle strains from repeatedly lifting heavy loads
- Bruises and broken bones from dropping items or falling over under the weight
Causes of such injuries include:
- The size and weight of the workload
- Miscommunication between colleagues leading to an error in the handling process
- A malfunction or mistake with the vehicle leading to sudden, unexpected movement
Date Published: February 5, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown