Chemical company fined £120,000 after employee suffered a serious injury

On 6th June 2018, at the company’s site in Northside, Workington, an employee was using a ladder to inspect a steam leak at height when the ladder failed and the employee fell to the ground.

The HSE investigation revealed that the company had failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned and managed. The company also failed to ensure that equipment provided for use at height was inspected at regular intervals and was fit for use.

Vertellus Specialties UK Limited of St Ann’s Wharf, Newcastle-upon-Tyne pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £120,000 with £5155.80 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Forster said, “Work at height accidents are one of the main causes of occupational injury and death. Employers should consider if working at height can be avoided and, if work at height is undertaken, it should be properly planned and managed appropriately and all equipment should be fit for purpose.”

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