Manufacturing Sector

Window and door company fined after worker's death

Health & Safety update 15/03/2012

East London window and door manufacturer, M M Contracting Ltd, is facing a £35,000 pay out after safety failings led to the death of a worker in front of his own son.

Polish national, Andrzej Rokita, sustained fatal head injuries when a number of wooden panels that had been stacked upright against a wall fell on him. The 55-year-old had been attempting to help his son, also an employee of the firm, to remove one of the panels from the middle of the stack.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found that the business did not have a sufficient system in place to manage the removal and storage of the boards. HSE inspector, Kevin Smith, called the upright storage of the boards a “death waiting to happen”.

“Incidents such as this are still a common occurrence in the industry despite the existence of guidance from the HSE offering simple, inexpensive solutions for stacking wood safely,” he explained, speaking after the company was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, after previously pleading guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

He added, "As a direct result of the company's failure to provide safe storage for their everyday materials, a father and husband has lost his life. There is no excuse for employers not ensuring that wood on their premises is properly stored, posing the most minimal risk to their staff."

M M Contracting Ltd, of Bedford Road, London E17 4PX was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay £9,000 in costs.


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