B&B Agricultural Sales is fined over fall that fractured worker's skull
A CORNISH tractor sales company faces fines and costs totalling more than £15,000 for breaking safety legislation after an employee received multiple skull fractures in a fall at work.
Jacob Wingett, 28, from Treburley, near Launceston, was fitting a number plate to the top of a tractor cab on May 1, 2012, when he lost his balance and fell about a metre to the ground, suffering serious injuries.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted B&B Agricultural Sales Ltd at Truro Magistrates' Court on Friday.
The court heard Mr Wingett was working at the company's site on the Doublebois Industrial Estate, Dobwalls, and standing on the cross-shaft arms at the back of the tractor when he fell, resulting in one broken and one shattered wrist, two broken arms and multiple skull fractures.
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He underwent several operations to insert pins and plates in both arms and was unable to work for more than a month.
HSE found B&B Agricultural Sales Ltd had provided no measures to prevent Mr Wingett falling. There was no plan for the work, no safe system of working and no suitable training or supervision.
B&B Agricultural Sales Ltd, of Tamar Ridge, Cox Park, Gunnislake, admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety At Work Etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £8,142 in costs.
HSE inspector Gareth Cottle, speaking after the hearing, said: "Mr Wingett's serious injuries could have been avoided with some simple measures including planning the work properly, providing proper equipment, such as a platform to work on, and adequate training and supervision.
"Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it's crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures are put in place to protect staff from the risks. There is no excuse for employers failing to safeguard workers who have to work at height."
Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/falls