• Robert Spicer

Hull workplace stepladder death fall: employer fined £1 million

Stepladder fall death: £1 million fine

Health and Safety Executive v Greencore Grocery Ltd (2017) Hull Crown Court, September 5

Statutory reference: s.3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA).

The facts

· A self-employed electrical contractor was wiring a motor above a machine at the company’s bakery site in Hull in October 2013.

· He was standing on a stepladder which the company had agreed to provide. He fell and suffered fatal injuries.

· The company had failed to properly plan the activity from the beginning, including access arrangements for the installation of motors.

The decision

The company was fined £1 million plus £30,000 costs under s.3 of HSWA.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in Great Britain. The risks associated with working at height are well-known.

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